Antihypertensive Effects of Aspirin: What is the Evidence?
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- Bautista, L.E. & Vera, L.M. Curr Hypertens Rep (2010) 12: 282. doi:10.1007/s11906-010-0115-5
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known to increase blood pressure and blunt the effect of antihypertensive drugs. Surprisingly, it has been suggested recently that aspirin lowers blood pressure and could be used for preventing hypertension. This review summarizes published data on the effects of aspirin on blood pressure. Trials suggesting that aspirin administered at bedtime lowers blood pressure are uncontrolled, unmasked, and potentially biased. They also conflict with cohort studies showing an 18% increase in the risk of hypertension among aspirin users. Fortunately, short-term use of aspirin does not seem to interfere with antihypertensive drugs. Regardless of its effect on blood pressure, low-dose aspirin effectively prevents cardiovascular events in patients with and without hypertension, but its benefits should be carefully weighed against a potential increase in the risk of adverse effects such as gastric bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke, as well as a small increase in the risk of hypertension.