Getting the most out of aspirin

tip 133Studies have shown aspirin may be beneficial for certain people in decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke or the recurrence of these conditions. But how much is too much? The low-dose aspirin that is generally recommended is the 81 mg dose or baby aspirin. This low dosage decreases the risk of side effects.

Aspirin should be taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle – exercise, a proper diet, no smoking, and blood pressure and blood sugar levels should be under control. Aspirin therapy, however, is not for everyone. You should not be on aspirin therapy if you:

• are allergic
• easily bleed
• take a blood thinner
• have recently had internal bleeding in the stomach or intestines
• have liver disease

Before starting any kind of home therapy, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

For more heart health articles, please visit our Heart & Vascular Center.

Sources:
Am J Manag Care. 2002 Dec;8(22 Suppl):S691-700. Update on aspirin in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. (Accessed January 31, 2008).

Aspirin Therapy in Diabetes. American Diabetes Association (PDF accessed January 31, 2008).

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Aspirin for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsasmi.htm. (Accessed 11/22/11.)

Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, MD. 11/11

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