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Tuesday, 09 April 2019 15:49

Is It Safe to Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attacks and Stroke?

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Is It Safe to Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attacks and Stroke?

Low-dose aspirinAspirin has been used for pain relief for over 100 years. It's only more recently, within the last 40 years or so, that it has also been used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that taking a low-dose aspirin daily for at least 10 years can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 10%.

Aspirin helps the heart by reducing inflammation. When plaque in arteries is inflamed it can be more likely to cause a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, reducing the chemicals that can increase inflammation.

Another way aspirin can benefit the cardiovascular system is by preventing blood clots.
Aspirin can stop certain chemicals that cause the formation of clots which can clog arteries that deliver blood to heart muscle and the brain, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Aspirin Side Effects

While aspirin has been shown to have health benefits, it is not without potentially  harmful side effects. Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke is associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the skull in people without a history of those conditions.

Because of the risks of side effects, low-dose aspirin is often prescribed to individuals coronary artery disease who have had or are considered to be at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

What is a low-dose aspirin?

Most over-the-counter aspirin are around 81 milligrams. Aspirin is considered low-dose if it is between 75 and 100 milligrams. Baby aspirin are usually in the low-dose category.

Before taking aspirin regularly for any purpose, check with your doctor. When prescribing aspirin your doctor will factor your age, family history and any current medical conditions before recommending that you take a daily aspirin.


Read 2277 times Last modified on Monday, 24 June 2019 16:02
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