For both men and women, prophylactic daily aspirin use is associated with whether particular friends and family take aspirin or have had a recent cardiovascular event. This study adds to evidence that cardiovascular health behaviors spread through social networks.
Although the benefits of aspirin therapy are well-known, the rates of daily aspirin use are low. This study examined data from 2,724 adult children of participants in the Framingham Heart Study to determine whether these “egos” took aspirin daily, and whether usage was related to the aspirin usage or recent cardiovascular event (CVE) history of their friends and relatives (“alters”). Egos were limited to those most likely to be candidates for aspirin therapy, i.e., men, ages 45-79, and women, ages 55-70.
The study results add to the evidence that people’s health and health behaviors (including pharmacotherapy), are influenced by their social connections.
With funding from the Pioneer Portfolio, Nicholas Christakis is exploring how health outcomes and behaviors spread throughout a person’s social network.