Less-costly aspirin found useful in newly diagnosed diabetes

The use of regular aspirin by individuals aged 40 and older who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is a cost-effective treatment strategy, according to a study in the June issue of Diabetes Care, as reported by HealthDay News.

The use of regular aspirin by individuals aged 40 and older who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is a cost-effective treatment strategy, according to a study in the June issue of Diabetes Care, as reported by HealthDay News.

Rui Li, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used a Markov disease progression model of type 2 diabetes to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the daily use of aspirin (80 mg) in adults aged 40 to 94 who were newly diagnosed in 2006. The model analyzed lifetime costs for 5 typical diabetes complications: neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

The researchers found that aspirin users gained 0.31 life-years or 0.19 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) over a lifetime compared with those not taking aspirin. The incremental cost was $1,700. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of aspirin use was $5,428 per life-year gained or $8,801 per QALY gained.

Medicare and Medicaid programs cover many drugs and medical technologies with much higher ICERs than the estimated ICER for aspirin, according to the authors. “The daily use of aspirin among people with newly diagnosed diabetes who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease is cost effective when compared with people who are not using aspirin,” Dr. Li told Formulary.

Therapy-wise, the health benefits of aspirin outweigh any side effects based on currently available information, Dr. Li said.

More trial data is needed to study the efficacy of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in individuals with diabetes, Dr. Li said.