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01-03-2014 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2014 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 3/2014

Gastrointestinal symptoms in low-dose aspirin users: a comparison between plain and buffered aspirin

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 3/2014
J. Jaspers Focks, M. M. Tielemans, L. G. M. van Rossum, T. Eikendal, M. A. Brouwer, J. B. M. J. Jansen, R. J. F. Laheij, F. W. A. Verheugt, M. G. H. van Oijen
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s12471-014-0522-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Aspirin is associated with gastrointestinal side effects such as gastric ulcers, gastric bleeding and dyspepsia. High-dose effervescent calcium carbasalate (ECC), a buffered formulation of aspirin, is associated with reduced gastric toxicity compared with plain aspirin in healthy volunteers, but at lower cardiovascular doses no beneficial effects were observed.


To compare the prevalence of self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms between low-dose plain aspirin and ECC.


A total of 51,869 questionnaires were sent to a representative sample of the Dutch adult general population in December 2008. Questions about demographics, gastrointestinal symptoms in general and specific symptoms, comorbidity, and medication use including bioequivalent doses of ECC (100 mg) and plain aspirin (80 mg) were stated. We investigated the prevalence of self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms on ECC compared with plain aspirin using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


A total of 16,715 questionnaires (32 %) were returned and eligible for analysis. Of these, 911 (5 %) respondents reported the use of plain aspirin, 633 (4 %) ECC and 15,171 reported using neither form of aspirin (91 %). The prevalence of self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms in general was higher in respondents using ECC (27.5 %) compared with plain aspirin (26.3 %), but did not differ significantly with either univariate (OR 1.06, 95 %CI 0.84–1.33), or multivariate analysis (aOR 1.08, 95 %CI 0.83–1.41). Also, none of the specific types of symptoms differed between the two aspirin formulations.


In this large cohort representative of the general Dutch population, low-dose ECC is not associated with a reduction in self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms compared with plain aspirin.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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