Lab notes

Lab notes

Research news from around UF Health

Arch Mainous

Arch Mainous III

Aspirin therapy

A daily low dose of aspirin can offer important protection against cardiovascular disease, but researchers say that the people who could receive the most benefit from the medication may not be taking it. A UF study, led by Arch G. Mainous III, Ph.D., found that only 40 percent of people who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease said they received a doctor recommendation for aspirin therapy, while one-quarter of people at low risk reported their doctors told them to take the drug. The results appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends aspirin use to prevent heart attack and stroke in men age 45 to 79 and women age 55 to 79 when the benefit outweighs the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, a possible side effect of regular aspirin use. Jill Pease

Better for fertility

A fertility drug used for more than four decades could soon be replaced with another drug, which is 30 percent more effective in helping women become pregnant. In a study published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at seven different academic centers, including UF, recruited 750 couples to compare the long-used fertility drug clomiphene citrate, commonly called clomid, to letrozole, a drug initially developed to prevent recurrence of breast cancer in women. Of the 376 women who were given clomid, 72 became pregnant and gave birth. Of the 374 women who took letrozole, 103 gave birth. “Letrozole works better, has about the same cost, has fewer side effects and has a slightly lower twin rate than clomid,” said Gregory Christman, M.D., director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UF. — Morgan Sherburne

Pain relief risks

For women taking certain kinds of pain relievers, a heart attack could be waiting in their medicine cabinets. The regular use of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and death in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The researchers found that regular use of the NSAID naproxen, the active ingredient in medications such as Aleve, is associated with a 10 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death in postmenopausal women, said UF cardiologist Anthony Bavry, M.D., the study’s lead author. Regular use was defined as at least twice per week for the previous two weeks. — Morgan Sherburne