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AbstractBackgroundSome studies have shown a protective association between aspirin use and subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Other studies have found no relationship or the reverse. These studies differ in their study populations and definitions of SAH. AimsOur aim was to establish 1) if there is an association between aspirin and SAH, 2) how this differs between the general population and those with intracranial aneurysms.Summary of reviewStudies reporting aspirin use and the occurrence of SAH were included and grouped based on population (general population vs aneurysm population). Odds ratios, hazard ratios and confidence intervals were combined in random-effects models. 11 studies were included. Overall, there was an association between aspirin and SAH (OR 0.68 [0.48, 0.96]). However, populations were diverse and heterogeneity between studies high (p<0.00001), questioning the validity of combining these studies and justifying analysis by population.In the general population there was no difference in aspirin use between individuals with and without SAH (OR 1.15 [0.96, 1.38]). In patients with intracranial aneurysms, aspirin use was greater in patients without SAH (OR 0.37 [0.24, 0.58]), although these studies were at higher risk of bias.ConclusionsThere is an association between aspirin use and SAH in patients with intracranial aneurysms. This apparent protective relationship is not seen in the general population. Prospective randomised studies are required to further investigate the effect of aspirin on unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Original publication




Journal article


Int j stroke

Publication Date



Aneurysm, Antiplatelet, Antiplatelet therapy, Aspirin, Stroke, Subarachnoid haemorrhage