Aspirin Use for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in an African American Population: Prevalence and Associations with Health Behavior Beliefs


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, disproportionately affecting African Americans. Aspirin is an effective, low cost option to reduce cardiovascular events. This study sought to describe the use of aspirin for CVD prevention in African Americans and evaluate associations with demographics, cardiovascular risk factors and health behaviors and beliefs. A total of 684 African Americans adults ages 45–79 years completed surveys and were included in this analysis. Proportions of aspirin use were stratified by primary and secondary prevention and by number of CVD risk factors in the primary prevention population. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations with aspirin use. Secondary prevention aspirin use was 62%. Primary prevention aspirin use was 32% overall and increased to 54% in those with > 2 CVD risk factors. A history of diabetes [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.42, 95% CI 2.18–5.35] and hypertension (aOR 2.25, 95% CI 1.39–3.65) were strongly associated with primary prevention aspirin use, but a conversation with a health care provider was even stronger (aOR 6.41, 95% CI 4.07–10.08). Participants who answered positively to statements about people similar to them taking aspirin or that close contacts think they should take aspirin, were much more likely to take aspirin (aOR 4.80; 95% CI 2.58–8.93 and aOR 7.45; 95% CI 4.70–11.79 respectively). These findings support a hypothesis that aspirin use may increase by encouraging conversations with health care providers and creating a supportive social environment for aspirin use. Further studies need to be done to test this hypothesis.

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This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Grant No. R01HL126041.

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Correspondence to Jeremy R. Van’t Hof.

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Van’t Hof, J.R., Duval, S., Misialek, J.R. et al. Aspirin Use for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in an African American Population: Prevalence and Associations with Health Behavior Beliefs. J Community Health 44, 561–568 (2019).

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  • Aspirin
  • Prevention
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • African Americans
  • Health behavior