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Use of aspirin to reduce risk of initial vascular events in patients at moderate risk of cardiovascular disease (ARRIVE): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

ARRIVE is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study done in seven countries. Eligible patients were aged 55 years (men) or 60 years (women) and older and had an average cardiovascular risk, deemed to be moderate on the basis of the number of specific risk factors. We excluded patients at high risk of gastrointestinal bleeding or other bleeding, or diabetes. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) with a computer-generated randomisation code to receive enteric-coated aspirin tablets (100 mg) or placebo tablets, once daily. The primary efficacy endpoint was a composite outcome of time to first occurrence of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, stroke, or transient ischaemic attack.

Median follow-up was 60 months. In the intention-to-treat analysis, the primary endpoint occurred in 269 (4·29%) patients in the aspirin group versus 281 (4·48%) patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·96; 95% CI 0·81-1·13; p=0·6038). Gastrointestinal bleeding events (mostly mild) occurred in 61 (0·97%) patients in the aspirin group versus 29 (0·46%) in the placebo group (HR 2·11; 95% CI 1·36-3·28; p=0·0007). The event rate was much lower than expected, which is probably reflective of contemporary risk management strategies, making the study more representative of a low-risk population. The role of aspirin in primary prevention among patients at moderate risk could therefore not be addressed.

Gaziano JM et al. Lancet. 2018 Sep 22;392(10152):1036-1046. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31924-X. Epub 2018 Aug 26.