The use of preventive dose of aspirin
given on daily basis is a controversial subject, more so because in a few cases it can cause life-threatening gastro-intestinal bleeding( a medico colleague of mine had it and and since gave it up) Do the beneft out weigh the risks, especially for normal individuals with no predisposition of cardiac illness.
The question of whether prophylactic aspirin protects individuals at low risk of cardiovascular disease
keeps being asked (though the exact dose at which it effective keeps being overlooked). Bandolier 86 carried a review examining the risks and benefits of aspirin use that looked at both coronary events prevented and harmful bleeds produced. The balance tipped from benefit to harm when the annual risk of a cardiovascular event was below 1%. Primary prevention is probably worthwhile at coronary risks of 1.5% a year or more, risks and benefits are balanced at an annual risk of 1%, and aspirin use is unsafe when the risk is 0.5% or less.
Low risk was defined as having no more than one of a list of risk factors, including hypertension
, high cholesterol
or LDL, family history, smoking
, age over 45 years in men and 55 in women, angina
, and past cardiovascular events.