Aspirin is the world’s most widely used drug — and one of the most controversial. Its medicinal use dates back to circa 1542 B.C., when extracts of willow bark (which contain salicylate, the active ingredient in aspirin) were described in an ancient Egyptian papyrus as a remedy for pain and fever. Also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), aspirin has proven anti-clotting effects, thus helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes, which occur when a clot blocks flow of blood to the heart or brain. However, ASA can also be dangerous due to a significant risk for internal bleeding.
Three new studies have highlighted the challenge of deciding if the benefits of low-dose ASA outweigh the potential harms. You may have seen headlines like these: “Daily Aspirin Could Be Harmful for Older Adults,” “Daily Aspirin: Risks Outweigh Benefits, According to New Research” and “Does Daily Aspirin Therapy Work?” Here’s a look at the latest research and key takeaways from the BaleDoneen Method of heart attack, stroke and diabetes prevention about how to decide if daily low-dose aspirin is right for you.
Read more in October2018 HeartTalk