Each day, millions of people take an aspirin as a way to thin their blood and lower their risk of heart attack. Most people don’t think twice about this sort of therapy, since aspirin is a commonly used over-the-counter medication. But the research is coming in and it is revealing that daily aspirin therapy isn’t safe for everyone. Is it safe for you?
There has been disagreement among doctors concerning the recommendation of aspirin for people without a history of heart attack or stroke. A 2011 systematic review has shown daily aspirin therapy reduces the incidence of heart attacks to a small degree, but it increases the risk of major bleeding to a similar degree in patients been treated for high blood pressure who have not had a previous heart attack or stroke. In nutshell, this review is saying if you have never had a heart attack or stroke before and you have high blood pressure, aspirin may not be the right choice for you.
In contrast, the same review reveals the benefit of daily aspirin therapy in patients with high blood pressure whom have already suffered from a heart attack or stroke is many times greater than the harm. It suggests daily aspirin therapy is a good idea for this group of patients.
The best thing to do if you are unsure of whether an aspirin a day is the right choice for you is to talk to your doctor. Be aware that stopping daily aspirin therapy can have a rebound effect that may actually increase your risk for heart attack. If you are taking a daily aspirin and want to stop, it is important to talk to your doctor before making any changes.