The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that aspirin would reduce the risk for acute coronary syndromes (ACSs) in patients with pneumonia.
Pooled data suggest that pneumonia may trigger an ACS as a result of inflammatory reactions and the prothrombotic changes in patients with pneumonia. Hypothetically considering its antiaggregating and anti-inflammatory effects, aspirin might also be beneficial for the primary prevention of ACS in patients with pneumonia.
One hundred and eighty-five patients with pneumonia who had more than one risk factor for cardiovascular disease were randomized to an aspirin group (n=91) or a control group (n=94). The patients in the aspirin group received 300 mg of aspirin daily for 1 month. ECGs were recorded on admission and 48 h and 30 days after admission to assess silent ischemia. The level of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T was measured on admission and 48 h after admission. The primary endpoint was the development of ACS within 1 month. The secondary endpoints included cardiovascular death and death from any cause within 1 month.
The χ2-test showed that the rates of ACS at 1 month were 1.1% (n=1) in the aspirin group and 10.6% (n=10) in the control group (relative risk, 0.103; 95% confidence interval 0.005–0.746; P=0.015). Aspirin therapy was associated with a 9% absolute reduction in the risk for ACS. There was no significant decrease in the risk of death from any cause (P=0.151), but the aspirin group had a decreased risk of cardiovascular death (risk reduction: 0.04, P=0.044).
This randomized open-label study shows that acetyl salicylic acid is beneficial in the reduction of ACS and cardiovascular mortality among patients with pneumonia.