Should You Take a Daily Aspirin? Here's the Latest
Medical experts have been divided for years over the benefits and risks of taking a daily aspirin. Now a new study published in PLOS ONE attempts to provide some definitive answers. According to the study, a daily aspirin can reduce the risk for heart attack and certain cancers in older adults and lead to a longer life.
Aspirin is an inexpensive, effective anti-inflammatory pain reliever that can be used at low doses to reduce heart attack risk in people with heart disease. However, in 2014, the Food and Drug Administration recommended the drug not be used in healthy people because it can cause ulcers and GI bleeding. The American Heart Association and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently recommend daily aspirin for people at increased risk for heart attack. The latest study shows that 40 percent of men and 10 percent of women who meet these criteria do not follow this recommendation.
According to researchers, taking aspirin as recommended could prevent 11 cases of heart disease and four cases of cancer for every 1,000 people in the U.S., and save about 900,000 lives by 2036. They advise everyone over the age of 50 to discuss the risks and benefits of taking a daily aspirin with his or her health care provider.
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