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One in Five Adults Take Aspirin Regularly

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: August 22, 2007

An estimated 43 million people age 18 and older-almost one-fifth of the adult population of the United States-reported taking aspirin regularly, every day or every other day, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Aspirin, a medicine that relieves pain and reduces fever, can also help lower the risk of heart attack, blood clot-related strokes, and other blood circulation problems in people who have these conditions.

AHRQ's 2005 data also show that:

  • More than half (54 percent) of the estimated 26 million adults who were told by a physician that they had any indicators of heart disease, such as coronary heart disease, angina, or other cardiac conditions, reported taking aspirin regularly, compared with 15 percent of those who were never told by a physician that they had these problems.
  • Almost half (48.5 percent) of all Americans age 65 and older took aspirin regularly. About two-thirds (64 percent) of the people in this age group who had been diagnosed with indicators of heart disease also took aspirin regularly.
  • By comparison, slightly more than one-quarter of Americans between 45 to 64 years of age took aspirin regularly. However, more than half (56 percent) of people in this age group who had been diagnosed with indicators of heart disease also reported taking aspirin regularly.
  • Whites age 18 and older who were told that they had indicators of heart disease were more likely to take aspirin regularly (55 percent) than adult blacks (48 percent) or Hispanics (49 percent) who had indicators of heart disease.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a highly detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they use them, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, access Aspirin Use among the Adult, Non-Institutionalized U.S. Population with or without Indicators of Heart Disease, 2005 (PDF Help).

To speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of August 2007


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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