A Randomized Trial of Low-Dose Aspirin in the Prevention of Clinical Type 2 Diabetes in Women

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OBJECTIVESubclinical inflammation is linked with the development of type 2 diabetes, and epidemiologic data suggest that this association may be stronger in women. Although small clinical studies have shown a prominent hypoglycemic effect of short-term high-dose aspirin, no randomized trials have directly evaluated the efficacy of aspirin in diabetes prevention at doses acceptable for use in routine clinical practice. We evaluated whether chronic low-dose aspirin prevents the development of clinical diabetes among initially healthy American women.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSSubjects were enrolled in the Women's Health Study, a 10-year randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of aspirin and vitamin E for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Between 1992 and 1995, 38,716 women aged ≥45 years and free of clinical diabetes were randomly assigned to either low-dose aspirin or placebo (median follow-up 10.2 years). Documented clinical type 2 diabetes was prospectively evaluated throughout the trial.RESULTSAmong women randomly assigned to receive aspirin (n = 19,326) or placebo (n = 19,390), there was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of type 2 diabetes. There were 849 cases of diabetes in the aspirin group and 847 in the placebo group (rate ratio 1.01 [95% CI 0.91–1.11]). Stratification by diabetes risk factors including age, BMI, family history of diabetes, physical activity, A1C, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein did not support a modulating effect of these variables. Analyses accounting for treatment duration and adherence similarly found no beneficial effects.CONCLUSIONSThese data suggest that long-term low-dose aspirin does not prevent the development of clinical type 2 diabetes in initially healthy women.

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