A recent study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Alpha1 Foundation discovered that a regular aspirin intake was associated with a more than 50 percent reduction in progression of emphysema. The study was completed over a decade, and included a large sampling of elderly patients, with the greatest success rate being derived by participants with significant airflow obstruction. Regular aspirin use during this study was defined as three or more days per week. The models were adjusted for demographics, smoking, ACE-inhibitor use, anthropometry, hypertension, C-reactive protein and scanner factors.
“These findings, along with supportive results in animals, suggest that further study of aspirin and platelet activation in emphysema may be warranted,” Carrie Aaron, MD, of Columbia University, New York City, and colleagues wrote in the journal CHEST. “We hypothesized that regular use of aspirin, a platelet-inhibitor, would be associated with slower progression of emphysema-like lung on computed tomography (CT), and slower decline in lung function,” the researchers wrote.
One of the testing procedures completed to measure lung flow was spirometry. Spirometry is a lung function test that is used to diagnose lung diseases, ranging from COPD to Asthma. During the terms of this study, patients completed spirometry exams from 2004 till 2007 and repeated the testing in 2010 through 2012. The testing was completed in accordance with the American Thoracic Society-European Respiratory Society guidelines following the MESA Lung protocol and was reviewed by a single investigator.
Some of the major findings of this study indicated:
- The progression of percent emphysema was slower, among the regular aspirin users; compared to the non-aspirin users.
- Results were shown to have a greater magnitude among participants with larger airflow limitations.
- There was no association between the change in lung function and aspirin use.
The results of this study were similar after adjusting for NSAID, inhaler, COX-2 inhibitor, ADP-receptor inhalers, diuretic and statin use. “This is the first study of which we are aware to show an association between aspirin use and longitudinal progression of percent emphysema,” the researchers wrote. “Prior studies have found platelet-receptor related genes serotonin receptor 4 (HTR4), von Willebrand factor (VWF) and its platelet-receptor, GP1BA, to be associated with FEV1 and COPD. Additionally, platelet factor 4 increased emphysema when added to a neutrophil elastase animal model of emphysema, and platelet activation was found to be greater in COPD compared to controls, and during exacerbation.”
While the results did not show conclusive results, it was determined that further studies would be beneficial.
Originally posted at Medpagetoday.com – written by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer