Aspirin regimen has potential to help and hurt
Is an aspirin a day the way to go?
THE NEW ASPIRIN STUDY: Published in the June 6, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study Association Of Aspirin Use With Major Bleeding In Patients With And Without Diabetes showed that aspirin was associated with a 55% relative increase in the risk of major bleeding, a number that translates to two excess bleeding events for every 1000 patients treated annually. This bleeding rate is roughly equal to the number of major cardiovascular events avoided in primary prevention for patients with a 10-year risk in the range of 10% to 20%, report the researchers. senior investigator Dr. Antonio Nicolucci said that for those with a very high baseline risk, such as those with a 10-year risk greater than 20%, aspirin will likely yield benefits that outweigh the harms. (Source: theheart.org)
CLEAR BENEFITS OF ASPIRIN
Aspirin has been proven to help women and men in these situations:
• During a heart attack. Chewing an aspirin (one full-strength or two baby aspirins) can limit your chances of dying from the attack or having another soon.
• After a heart attack or ischemic stroke. Taking a low-dose aspirin (81 mg) every day can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke and lessen your chances of dying of cardiovascular disease.
• If you have stable chest pain, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, or other signs of atherosclerosis. Taking a low-dose aspirin every day can help prevent a heart attack or stroke and reduce your chances of dying of cardiovascular disease.
IF ASPIRIN IS RIGHT FOR YOU, WHAT'S THE BEST DOSE TO TAKE?
Your doctor will discuss what dose is right for you. Very low doses of aspirin — 75 milligrams (mg), which is less than a standard baby aspirin — can be effective. Your doctor will usually prescribe a daily dose anywhere from 81 mg — the amount in a baby aspirin — to 325 mg (a regular strength tablet). If you have had a heart attack or have had a heart stent placed, it is very important to take aspirin and any other blood thinning medications exactly as recommended.
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