An Aspirin a Day: Is It Worth Taking It To Lower Heart Risks?

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Doctors have recommended for a long time a low daily dose of aspirin for people that had a history of a heart attack or heart problems. But a major research found that aspirin doesn’t have high benefits, and sometimes risks outweigh those benefits.

On 25 August, at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Munich, researchers gathered and discussed about their study results. An article on Advocator focused on a pill that helped people lose weight and had no negative or positive effect on heart health.

This article presented the results of a study focused on heart health of middle-aged men that sleep less than 5 hours, showing the importance of a good night’s sleep. If men over 50 years old sleep 5 hours or less, their risk of cardiovascular disease doubles.

But can aspirin reduce these risks?

Dr. Jane Armitage of the University of Oxford in England presented her study on aspirin’s value in heart health. The study was sponsored by Bayer, one of the aspirin makers, and was published in the journal Lancet.

Uses of Aspirin for Heart Health

A low dose of aspirin was believed to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke or other heart problem in people that have already had a history of heart issues. Dr. Jane Armitage explains that:

“There’s been a lot of uncertainty among doctors around the world about prescribing aspirin” adding that “if you’re healthy, it’s probably not worth taking it.”

In her study, Armitage and her team had 12.546 participants that received either aspirin or placebo pills. The individuals that were part of the study had a moderate risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years.

Four years after the participants received aspirin or placebo, 4% of each group had a heart problem, the study suggesting that these people were at low risk – and not at a moderate risk as previously believed.

The study leader Dr. J. Michael Gaziano of Brigham and Women’s Hospital explains that the participants were also taking medicine to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, so the heart risk was so small that aspirin wasn’t necessary anymore.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere