Saturday, November 23, 2013

Is Low-Dose Aspirin Right For You?

First off I'm not qualified to answer the question. FYI I take 150mg 2 to 3 times a week usually at night really more for it's anti-inflammatory and painkiller properties rather than for my heart. But as I diabetic I am compelled to ask myself the question. So I will quote from the experts at Harvard Men's Health Watch.
For every 10,000 people who already have cardiovascular disease who take low-dose aspirin 40 are harmed by bleeding and 250 are helped.
For every 10,000 people at risk of cardiovascular disease who take low-dose aspirin 4 are harmed and 7 are helped

What should you do?

For the time being, the science remains uncertain and experts don't agree on who should take aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. In Europe, for example, guidelines for cardiology do not recommend aspirin for primary prevention, citing an unfavorable ratio of risk to benefit. In the United States, the FDA has not approved any labeling for aspirin bottles regarding its use in preventing cardiovascular disease.
That may change in a few years, as results from new and better primary prevention trials are released. In the meantime, make sure you know where you stand on the scale of risk and benefit. 
And if you have prescribed yourself low-dose aspirin because of what you've read in the health press—seriously consider a chat with your doctor.
From Harvard Men's Health Watch 

More details on aspirin  from the same source: Aspirin and your heart Many questions, some answers including the age old question of what should I tell my wife?

What should I tell my wife when she asks about taking aspirin?

Aspirin is every bit as effective and important for women with heart disease as it is for men. But for healthy women, it's another story; aspirin does not appear to reduce the risk of heart attack, but it does offer protection against strokes caused by blood clots (ischemic strokes). The USPSTF recommends that women between 55 and 79 consider aspirin when their risk of stroke exceeds their risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
It shouldn't be a surprise anyone that it turns out that women are different than men. Once again our friends at Harvard Medical offer some sage advice to women.
Is aspirin right for you?
Many factors influence whether aspirin will probably help you, harm you, or have little effect. Your age is one of the most important. Other factors that enter into the calculation include your risk for heart disease and stroke, prior gastrointestinal bleeding, and other lifestyle and clinical factors. 
“This is an individual decision that must be made by sitting with your doctor or health care provider and weighing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack against the risks of taking aspirin on a regular basis,” cautions Dr. Buring.
Please read the whole article at: Aspirin and women age matters
The jury is out on how effective aspirin is on the prevention of cancer
Taking an aspirin every other day may help healthy women ward off colon cancer according to a new long-term study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
However, the researchers, led by Nancy Cook, Associate Biostatistician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, found it took years for this benefit to emerge, and this should be weighed against the raised risk of gastrointestinal bleeding from long-term use of aspirin and the fact the treatment made no difference to cancer deaths.
 Also you might want to read these:

Statement from Dr. Nabel, Director of the NHLBI of the NIH, on the  Findings of the Women's Health Study

Women's Health Study (WHS): A Randomized Trial of Low-dose Aspirin and Vitamin E in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

A nonsystematic review of articles published on PubMed® that examines the role of aspirin in Women.

Each one of us is different so what works for one person may be deadly for another. A new study haa shown a weakly defined benefit for taking your aspirin at bedtime.

But I digress so before I close I repeat this sage advice from the experts:
If you have prescribed yourself low-dose aspirin because of what you've read in the health press—seriously consider a chat with your doctor.

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