Is Taking Aspirin Good For Your Heart
If youve had a heart attack or stroke, theres no doubt that taking low-dose aspirin is beneficial, says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology for the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. But if you dont have heart disease, should you take it just in case? The answer for most individuals is probably not.
Why Is The Advice About Baby Aspirin Changing
The new guidelines are not a surprise to experts. They have been in the works since data from a series of major clinical trials were released in 2018. These trials compared the benefits of cardiovascular risk protection versus the risk of bleeding in a series of patient populations.
The pivotal research includes the following studies:
Simon said there is broad support among experts for the new guidelines.
If you are over 60 and dont have a history of heart or vascular disease, then the risk of bleeding likely exceeds the cardiovascular benefits, Simon said. The new recommendations are completely reasonable based on the available evidence, and generally are in line with recommendations from other medical groups.
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Since then, clinical inertia the slow adoption of new practices by doctors poor communication, and unclear guidance have meant aspirin is still commonly used by those who are not at major risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Nissen said. Over the decades, several groups, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association, as well as the FDA itself, have disagreed on who low-dose aspirin can help, and how much it can help them. The task force still leaves the decision of whether to use aspirin for prevention up to individuals and their doctors especially for those 40 to 59 years old but refutes the old idea that the drug is totally harmless, Nissen said.
Group by group, bit by bit, people have come around to the idea that the risks are about equivalent to its benefits for most people, Nissen told STAT.
To arrive at its recommendation, the task force reviewed 13 randomized clinical trials on the benefits and risks of aspirin use for preventing the development of cardiovascular disease or dying from it. They found aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke but not cardiovascular mortality or all-cause mortality.
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Related: Preventing Heart Disease Requires More Than Medicine
The stakes are high: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and is the cause of more than 1 in 4 deaths killing more Americans than cancer, Covid-19, and Alzheimer disease in 2021. More than 1 million Americans have their first heart attack or stroke each year, statistics from the American Heart Association show.
Black people are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than non-Black people, although the report notes race is a social construct and an imperfect proxy for social determinants of health and the effects of structural racism, so some calculations of risk may be inaccurate. Sex is another risk factor. Those assigned male at birth bear the brunt of cardiovascular disease and its effects on quality of life, but those assigned female at birth are more likely to die from cardiovascular issues, including stroke, which they experience later in life than men.
The task forces analysis found that the benefits of aspirin for preventing cardiovascular disease is about the same for doses from 50 milligrams to 500 milligrams. The dose recommended by the USPSTF is 81 milligrams, the most commonly prescribed amount in the United States. The task force continued to support its position that there is little evidence that low-dose aspirin prevents colorectal cancer, and that as with cardiovascular disease the harms may outweigh the benefits.
What Drug Interactions Should I Be Aware Of If Im On Aspirin Therapy
Tell your healthcare provider about any medications you take. Let your provider know if you take over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements or vitamins. Some medications and supplements may thin your blood and could increase your bleeding risk if you also take aspirin therapy.
Before any procedure, emergency treatment or dental work, tell the provider that you are taking low-dose aspirin therapy.
Talk to your healthcare provider about using alcohol if you are on aspirin therapy. Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
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Are There Other Benefits To Taking Daily Aspirin
Some studies suggest that daily aspirin therapy may prevent certain cancers.
In particular, the 2016 USPSTF recommendations reported that taking aspirin on a daily basis likely reduces risk for colorectal cancer, but only after 5 to 10 years of use.
- are at risk of hemorrhagic stroke
- drink alcohol on a regular basis
- need to undergo routine dental or medical procedures
- are over the age of 70
If you have any of the above risk factors, its critical to talk with your doctor before taking aspirin.
How To Use Low Dose Aspirin Ec
If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, take it exactly as prescribed.
Take this medication by mouth. Drink a full glass of water with it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after you have taken this drug. If stomach upset occurs while you are taking this medication, you may take it with food or milk.
Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Read the product label to find recommendations on how many tablets you can take in a 24-hour period and how long you may self-treat before seeking medical advice. Do not take more medication or take it for longer than recommended unless directed by your doctor. Use the smallest effective dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
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Uses Of Bayer Low Strength:
- It is used to treat rheumatic fever.
- It is used to ease pain and fever.
- It is used to treat some types of arthritis.
- It is used to protect bypass grafts and stents in the heart.
- It is used to lower the chance of heart attack, stroke, and death in some people.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
Aspirin Use To Prevent First Heart Attacks Not Recommended For Most Older Adults
Bayer brand low-dose aspirin is seen on display at the Safeway store in Wheaton, Maryland February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo
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The United States Preventive Services Task Force said it plans to update its 2016 recommendation as there is new evidence that the risk of potentially life-threatening internal bleeding from regular aspirin use increases with age.
The task force, a panel of 16 independent experts in disease prevention appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also said evidence was insufficient to say that low-dose aspirin use reduces the occurrence or death due to colorectal cancer.
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The recommendation, if finalized, would replace an earlier one from the panel, which in 2016 said daily low-dose aspirin may also help protect against colorectal cancer in people who are taking it to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
The new recommendation does not include people who have previously suffered a heart attack or stroke and taking daily aspirin to prevent a subsequent cardiovascular event. The panel said they should continue the regimen unless told otherwise by their clinician.
Aspirin, used for decades for pain and fever and available without a prescription, was seen as a convenient and cheap option to help those at risk of serious heart problems.
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Is Daily Aspirin Right For You
Doctors typically prescribe daily aspirin therapy for people who have certain cardiovascular risk factors.
You might benefit from taking aspirin every day if you answer yes to one or more of the following questions:
- Have you previously had a heart attack?
- Have you previously had a clot-related stroke?
- Have you had a stent inserted in a coronary artery?
- Do you have chest pain caused by angina?
- Have you had coronary bypass surgery?
- Are you a man over 50 or a woman over 60 with diabetes and at least one other heart disease risk factor?
- Do you have a family history of heart attacks?
If you think youre at risk, make an appointment to discuss daily aspirin with a doctor.
If I Should Not Be Taking Baby Aspirin But Previously Started Doing So Is It Safe To Stop Suddenly
Yes. Unlike some medications which you should not stop taking abruptly, it is safe to stop taking low-dose aspirin without weaning off of it.
If you are someone who should stop taking a daily low-dose aspirin, then you can stop it without weaning, Simon said.
But, he urges caution for anyone whose doctor previously recommended a daily baby aspirin.
I would not stop it without first talking with whoever prescribed it, he said.
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Is Baby Aspirin Safe For Babies Why Is It Called Baby Aspirin
Aspirin should not be given to babies and children except if prescribed by a doctor for rare medical conditions. The term baby aspirin stems from the lower dose that used to be used for children, but this is no longer recommended. The proper name now should be low-dose aspirin, but many people still refer to the lower doses as baby aspirin.
What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
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Taking Aspirin For Your Heart Time Of Day Matters
Daily aspirin users may be better protected against heart disease or stroke if they take the blood-thinning pills before turning in at night, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association‘s annual meeting in Dallas this week.
Millions of Americans take a low-dose aspirin daily to help thin their blood and prevent the formation of clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Such cardiovascular events are about three times more likely to occur in the morning, when blood pressure and platelet activity are at peak levels.
What Drugs And Food Should I Avoid While Taking Bayer Low Dose
Avoid alcohol. Heavy drinking can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Avoid taking ibuprofen if you take aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack. Ibuprofen can make aspirin less effective in protecting your heart and blood vessels. Ask your doctor how far apart your doses should be.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to aspirin .
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Why Have Adults Been Taking Low
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for about one in three deaths, according to the Preventive Services Task Force. Each year, an estimated 605,000 Americans have a first heart attack and about 610,000 experience a first stroke. So prevention is key. And, for decades, doctors have often advised older adults to take daily baby aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Who Should Continue Taking Baby Aspirin
People who have had a heart attack or ischemic stroke absolutely need to stay on their aspirin, Simon said.
If you have a history of heart disease or stroke in your immediate family or have had your own history of cardiovascular disease or atherosclerotic disease, your doctor may recommend you continue taking a daily low-dose or baby aspirin.
This is also true for people who have had stents or coronary bypass surgery.
If you are at all confused, consult your doctor.
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Why Choose Bayer Aspirin
As the #1 doctor-recommended aspirin brand, Bayer® Aspirin has been trusted by generations of families. In fact, we invented modern aspirin. The active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, was discovered and formulated by Bayer over 120 years ago.
When you buy Bayer® Aspirin, you are purchasing a product that is a result of extensive research and development. We are proud to be the #1 selling aspirin brand, as well as the top choice of physicians.
Whether you’re taking Bayer® Aspirin for pain, such as a headache, or a doctor-directed aspirin regimen for secondary heart attack and ischemic stroke prevention, you can feel secure knowing that youve chosen a top-quality product from the experts at Bayer.
What Do I Need To Tell My Doctor Before I Take Bayer Low Strength
For all patients taking Bayer Low Strength :
- If you are allergic to Bayer Low Strength any part of Bayer Low Strength or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Asthma, bleeding problems, nose polyps, or nose irritation.
- If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
- If you have any of these health problems: GI bleeding or ulcer disease.
- If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
- If you are taking any other NSAID.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Bayer Low Strength if you are in the third trimester of pregnancy. You may also need to avoid Bayer Low Strength at other times during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor to see when you need to avoid taking Bayer Low Strength during pregnancy.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
- If the patient is a child. This medicine may not be for use in all ages of children.
- If your child or teenager has or is getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections. The risk of a very bad problem called Reye’s syndrome may be raised. Do not give Bayer Low Strength to a child or teenager who has or is getting better from a viral infection.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Bayer Low Strength .
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Why Prescription Medications May Not Be Enough
If you take prescription medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, they may not be enough to protect your heart. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications are enough for you and whether adding an aspirin regimen can help further reduce the risk of another heart attack or clot-related stroke.
Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regime.
An Aspirin A Day Or Not
Aspirin’s protective powers may now guard against cancer, too.
Newer evidence indicates that aspirin can also reduce the risk of cancer of the colon, esophagus, stomach, rectum, and prostate. And most recently, the humble aspirin has offered the tantalizing possibility that it may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. With all of these potential benefits, why aren’t we dumping aspirin in the water as we do with fluoride?
“Aspirin is the one drug I would take to a desert island with me,” says Mark Fendrick, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. “It costs two cents a day and its benefits are amazing. And if it had no side effects at all, we could give it to everybody.” But Dr. Fendrick worries that the ever-growing list of diseases and disorders that aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs seem to combat drowns out information about the risks of this “wonder” drug.
Studies reviewed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have shown that daily or every-other-day aspirin therapy reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 28%in persons who had never had a heart attack or stroke, but who were considered high-risk individuals.
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