(HealthDay News) — Taking aspirin immediately after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) significantly reduces the risk of a major stroke, according to research published online in The Lancet.

Peter Rothwell, a professor and stroke expert at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues studied data from 12 trials (15,778 patients) of aspirin for long-term secondary prevention and 40,000 patients from 3 trials of aspirin in treatment of acute stroke.

The researchers found that taking aspirin after a TIA reduced the risk of a disabling or fatal stroke over the next few days and weeks by 70 to 80%.

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“Our findings confirm the effectiveness of urgent treatment after TIA and minor stroke, and show that aspirin is the most important component,” Rothwell said in a news release from the University of Oxford. “Immediate treatment with aspirin can substantially reduce the risk and severity of early recurrent stroke.”

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  1. Rothwell PM, Algra A, Chen Z, Diener HC, Norrving B, and Mehta, Z. Effects of Aspirin on Risk and Severity of Early Recurrent Stroke After Transient Ischaemic Attack and Ischaemic Stroke: Time-course Analysis of Randomised Trials. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30468-8.
  2. Hankey GJ. The Benefits of Aspirin in Early Secondary Stroke Prevention. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30511-6.