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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Should I start taking an 81 mg Aspirin Daily?

Should I start on the baby aspirin regimen ? I am healthy and exercise daily and don t smoke. I drink two shots of scotch a week (that reminds me, I m over due) and I m 69 and not over weight. I.e. none of the risk factors for heart attack. No History. I plan to talk to my doc about it next time I see him. (I know the stock answer is to talk to your doc about it.)
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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Although this has been a long debated topic. Over all, unless there is a medical indication or family history, generally one shouldn't consider taking Aspirin daily, specially if aged below 40 or women aged below 50. Taking daily Aspirin is only beneficial for some people with cardiovascular diseases, and those at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases- only then there is a benefit from taking LOW dose aspirin like 75mg. Several studies have proved that the risk of having a heart attack or stroke is much reduced in some of these people if they take aspirin, this is because it helps prevent blood clots forming. One of the dangerous long term side effects of Aspirin is bleeding in the stomach or gut. Due of the possible side effects, healthy people with a low health risk, even the small risk of side-effects from aspirin is not acceptable. Various studies have been done regarding taking Aspirin daily and the risk/benefit ratio. Although the death rate from strokes and heart attacks fell, more people died overall due to bleeding caused by the aspirin- mainly GI tract bleeding. Even low dose Aspirin like 75mg can put you at an increased risk of bleeding. Aspirin is not a substitute for preventing atheroma developing. The most effective way one can prevent the risk is; if you smoke STOP, do regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and remain as close to your ideal weight as possible. In a healthy person not at risk, the risks from taking Aspirin daily simply outweigh the benefits. Only if your in the 'at risk' category as I explained above, are the risks outweighed by the benefits. I do understand where you are coming from, because even though arteriosclerosis etc is exacerbated by an unhealthy life style, it is also to a certain extent part of the aging process. Have a chat with your Doctor.
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