Aspirin may reduce incidence of strokes in postmenopausal women with high trans-fat intake

March 15, 2012

Postmenopausal women with higher intake of trans fat were associated with a higher incidence of ischemic stroke but aspirin may reduce the adverse effects of trans fat, according to a new study

Postmenopausal women with a higher intake of trans fat have a higher incidence of ischemic stroke, but aspirin may reduce the adverse effects of trans fat, according to a new study.

The prospective cohort study, first published online in the March 1 issue of the Annals of Neurology, followed 87,025 postmenopausal women.  There were 1,049 incident cases of ischemic stroke over an average of 7.6 years of follow-up.

Women in the highest quintile of trans fat intake had a significantly higher incidence of ischemic stroke (HR=1.39; 95% CI, 1.08–1.79; P=.048) compared with women in the lowest quintile.

That association, however, was modified by aspirin use. The 67,288 non-aspirin users in the study had a higher incidence of ischemic stroke (HR=1.39; 95% CI, 1.08–1.79; P=.048) than the 19,736 aspirin users (HR=0.95; 95% CI, 0.60-1.48; P=.43). 

“Aspirin use may attenuate the potential adverse effect of trans-fat intake on ischemic stroke,” the researchers wrote.

Studies that explore the interactions between dietary fat intake and aspirin use, along with other variables that reduce risk of ischemic stroke, may shed light on the mechanism of ischemic stroke development, “especially because there is evidence of sex differences in platelet reactivity and platelet response to aspirin,” the researchers added.

The study authors did not find any significant differences between intakes of saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat and ischemic stroke or ischemic stroke subtypes.