Objective To estimate the prevalence of aspirin use in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Methods Population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in Pelotas, Southern Brazil, between Jan and May/2010, with people aged ≥20 years old. This study had two outcomes: aspirin use in primary prevention (people ≥40 years old, with at least two risk factors: Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus and/or hyperlipidaemia) and aspirin use in secondary prevention (previous history of stroke and/or angina/myocardial infarction). The outcomes were analysed based in demographic (gender, skin colour, age and marital status), socioeconomic (schooling and socioeconomic position) and lifestyle variables (smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and self-perception of health status). χ2 Test was used for bivariate analyses and Poisson regression for multivariate analyses, with design effect adjustment.
Results Prevalence of aspirin use in primary prevention was 24.8% (95% CI 21.0 to 28.9) and 34.3% (95% CI 29.5 to 39.4) for secondary prevention. In primary prevention, aspirin use was higher in non-whites and older people and among those with worst self-perceived health. For secondary prevention, the highest aspirin use was reported by the oldest, wealthiest and formerly smoking people.
Conclusion Aspirin use prevalence was low in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Especially in secondary prevention, where there is no doubt about the indication of aspirin, the use of medication in this population was half of that found in the literature. Further studies are necessary to identify the causes for this low aspirin use for prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
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