Sex difference in antithrombotic effect of aspirin.
A number of clinical trials suggest that the antithrombotic effect of aspirin is limited to men. To test the possibility that this is due to a sex difference in the inhibitory effect of aspirin on platelet behavior, we studied whole-blood platelet aggregation in men and women and in male patients with carcinoma of the prostate receiving hormone therapy. The in vitro inhibitory effect of aspirin on so-called spontaneous platelet aggregation induced by stirring whole blood and monitored by the decrease in the number of singleton platelets was greater in men (mean +/- SD inhibitory ratio 1.54 +/- 0.30 in men, 1.23 +/- 0.22 in women; p less than 0.001). The inhibitory effect of aspirin was reduced in orchiectomized male patients and was restored by the addition of testosterone to blood samples. Estradiol had no detectable influence on the inhibitory effect of aspirin. Testosterone thus seems to influence platelet aggregation and its inhibition by aspirin as assessed by whole-blood in vitro aggregometry. Possible mechanisms for this effect of testosterone and its relevance to the choice of antithrombotic therapy are discussed.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association