IS A DAILY ASPIRIN TREATMENT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE?
A daily dose of aspirin is a well-known and common method of preventing cardiovascular events for people over 40. However, in some people, a daily aspirin may cause more harm than good. Researchers have found that aspirin is very effective at lowering one’s risk of heart disease, however, it also puts them at risk for major internal bleeding.
New Study Questions Daily Aspirin Use
In the past, the majority of studies involving daily aspirin have focused on how it can help those with an existing heart condition. Therefore, the subjects of the studies were people who had already suffered a cardiovascular event or were at a high risk to experience their first. However, until recently there was very little data on how taking a daily low-dose of aspirin could affect those who were not at an increased risk. That is why a new study focused solely on the effects of daily aspirin treatment on patients with lower risks of heart attack. The results may have some people changing their routine.
The study, which involved 13 trials and over 164,000 patients, focused on how aspirin could prevent heart attack, stroke, or other events in those with and without a heart condition. The researchers found heart attack, stroke or death due to cardiovascular disease would be prevented for every 1 in 265 patients who was treated with aspirin daily for five years. However, 1 in 210 subjects who took aspirin every day in the same time frame would experience severe bleeding that would require hospitalization.
Is Daily Aspirin Right for Everyone?
These results make it clear that taking a daily aspirin is not for everyone. For people who have already experienced a cardiovascular event, taking a daily dose of 81 milligrams as a secondary prevention is typically recommended. These people are at a much higher risk of suffering another cardiovascular event, and this supersedes their risk of bleeding.
For those who have not experienced a heart attack or stroke and are not at a high risk for heart disease, the benefits are not the same. The danger of severe bleeding without the present risk of heart attack may make the treatment not worth it. This is especially true for those who have previously experienced a bleeding or clotting disorder. A daily aspirin could also be dangerous for those with an aspirin allergy.
Speak to Your Cardiologist about Daily Aspirin
If you are concerned about how aspirin could affect your health, there is no need to panic. If you are currently taking daily aspirin per your doctor’s orders, they have already established its safety, and you should not quit without talking to them first. Quitting daily aspirin can cause a rebound effect and increase one’s risk of heart attack. This is especially true for those who have had a heart attack or had a stent placed in one or more arteries.
Aspirin can be a life-saving medicine, but only in certain cases. If you are considering taking a daily aspirin for the first time, it is also imperative to speak to your cardiologist and discuss whether or not it is the right choice for your health.