Taking a low-dose aspirin daily - good or bad?

An aspirin a day keeps the doctor away. Or does it? Dr. Marie Lordkipanidzé with the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences states that people with past experiences of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke can benefit from taking low-dose aspirin daily to reduce the risk of something happening again.1 Although, it may not be good practice for others with no past health conditions.

In the Journal of Hypertension, Katsuyuki Ando and colleagues published a study that finds aspirin consumed at only 100 mg daily increases the risk of stroke and serious hemorrhage.2 They gave more than 12,000 seniors, 65 and older, a half daily dose of low-dose aspirin. They tracked death from cardiovascular disease, nonfatal stroke, and nonfatal myocardial infarction. Among all the seniors, daily low-dose aspirin increased the risk of serious hemorrhage by 81% and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke 75%. Among participants with high blood pressure, the risk of hemorrhagic stroke went up 251%.

Many people take an aspirin each day because they think it will prevent things like heart disease.  When self-medicating, make sure to follow the instructions on the label. Otherwise, see a doctor and follow doctor’s orders. Aspirin can prove to be beneficial only under very specific circumstances.  

Source:

  1. Lordkipanidzé M. Why an aspirin a day no longer keeps the doctor away…. Thrombosis and hemostasis. 2011;105(02):209-10.
  2. Ando K, Shimada K, Yamazaki T, Uchiyama S, Uemura Y, Ishizuka N, Teramoto T, Oikawa S, Sugawara M, Murata M, Yokoyama K. Influence of blood pressure on the effects of low-dose aspirin in elderly patients with multiple atherosclerotic risks. Journal of Hypertension. 2019 Jun 1;37(6):1301-7.
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