Does Daily Aspirin Intake Prevent Heart Problems? Short Answer: No
It has long been a widely-held belief that a daily dose of simple aspirin might be just what the doctor ordered to prevent serious heart complications down the road. Problem is, a new study is saying that it actually doesn’t.
Now taking a low dose of aspirin has been proven to benefit those with narrow arteries, or even those who have recently suffered a heart attack. This assumed benefit has long reached over into the camp of regular folks without any cardiovascular disease to speak of – mild hypochondriacs we all know (or may ourselves be) who think a modest daily dosage might steer off future heart problems. Are they right in this assumption?
The study: data was compiled and analyzed from nine different studies involving over 100,000 adults clocking-in at an average age of 57. These adults were randomly assigned a low dose of aspirin (about 100 milligrams) while the rest were prescribed a garden variety placebo. None of those studied had existing heart conditions. Over six years, medical problems that arose included roughly 2,000 cases of coronary heart disease and 40,000 instances of bleeding. Over that same amount of time, deaths within the study related to cardiovascular complications were about the same for those on – or off – aspirin.
In the end, aspirin-takers had only about a 10% lower chance of a heart attack or stroke, though this figure is mostly attributed to a 20% lower chance for a fatal heart attack. No difference between men and women. Older folks seemed to benefit more than younger folks, BUT those taking aspirin had a 70% higher risk of bleeding problems, and serious bleeding issues were 30% higher among younger people.
The moral of the story – if you don’t have cardiovascular problems, don’t take aspirin, or you might bleed to death.
Do you take aspirin to head-off heart problems? You going to stop now?