Is An Asprin A Day Still A Good Idea?

Rows of aspirin pills on a blue backgroundMillions of people take aspirin every day to lower their heart attack and stroke risk, but new research may change some of that thinking.

Daily aspirin use was associated with a higher-than-expected increase in the risk for major bleeding in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The risk for serious bleeds was five times higher than has been reported in clinical trials of daily low-dose aspirin, says researcher Antonio Nicolucci, MD.

He noted that while daily aspirin therapy has been proven to lower the risk for a second heart attack or stroke in people who have already suffered one, the treatment’s usefulness for preventing a first heart attack or stroke is not so clear.

“People with a moderate-to-high risk for having a major cardiovascular event probably benefit from aspirin therapy, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for people with a lower risk,” Nicolucci says.