Date of Award

Winter 12-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc)


Department of Physician Assistant Medicine

First Advisor

Justin M. Gambini, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


For decades, people have prophylactically used aspirin (ASA), or acetylsalicylic acid, to mitigate their risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The role of ASA as a means of secondary prevention for CVD is well established, however there are conflicting schools of thought as to whether or not it should be used as primary prophylaxis. While this indication has been studied for more than 30-years, questions remain pertaining to the risk of bleeding that is associated with ASA usage, which ranges from mild epistaxis to life threatening hemorrhage.1 Lifestyle and behavioral factors play a large role in a person’s CVD risk, however individuals are often resistant to making said changes and instead prefer to use medications in hopes that they will have the same protective effects as altering daily habits. Thus, this paper will provide a summary of the six current literature articles that addresses the issue of prophylactic ASA as a means of primary CVD prevention in adults over the age of 40 with modifiable risk factors.