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Reprising Ramadan-Related Angina Pectoris: A Potential Strategy for Risk Reduction

Arthur J. Siegel, Nasir A. Bhatti, Jason H. Wasfy

(Divisions of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:841-844

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.900133


BACKGROUND: A preponderance of evidence supports short-term aspirin usage to reduce transiently increased cardiovascular risk in clinical conditions that promote acute myocardial ischemia.
CASE REPORT: We report on the case of a 69-year-old male of Muslim Indian heritage with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who experienced the onset of angina pectoris while fasting for Ramadan for more than 16 hours daily for 30 days in July 2015. While symptom free for 2 months on medical management after ending his fast, he underwent quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery for severe 4-vessel disease following an acute anterior myocardial infarction. A percutaneous coronary intervention with stent placement was subsequently required for persistent myocardial ischemia on stress-MIBI testing due to occlusion of the graft to left anterior descending artery. Presently asymptomatic, he decided to forgo fasting for Ramadan in June 2016.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on this case, measures for primary cardiovascular prevention among the 1.2 billion susceptible males at similar high short-term cardiac risk while fasting for Ramadan are proposed. The value of aspirin for attenuating high short-term cardiovascular risk in clinical conditions conferring transient inflammatory stress is considered.
Low-dose aspirin usage at evening meals while fasting for Ramadan is prudent for primary cardiovascular protection of males who may have non-obstructive coronary atherosclerosis to mitigate the risk for rupture of potentially vulnerable plaques. Based in part on conclusive evidence for protection of middle-aged males from first myocardial infarction in a randomized prospective primary prevention trial, this measure is concordant with recommendations from sub-specialty societies for primary cardiovascular prevention for persons at above-average risk demonstrated by validated biomarkers and from the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

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