Aspirin: Consider Risk vs. Reward

It is well established that aspirin reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Newer studies indicate that aspirin can also reduce the risk of GI cancers and prostate cancers. Additionally, aspirin may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Aspirin, though, is not for everyone. Aspirin increases the risk of having a perforating ulcer. Those with a prior ulcer or GI bleeding should avoid aspirin of any type or dose, and Prevacid may be a better choice for those who had GI issues and want the benefits of heart disease prevention. Aspirin should not be taken with other NSAIDS.

The best dose appears to be an 81mg tablet daily to prevent heart disease for those with a family history of heart disease. The 325mg dose is indicated for someone who is having a heart attack. Advice from a medical professional should be obtained for those in a “probably” should take category. Those with a history of heart disease and or risk factors such as obesity and smoking. Often the benefits can be well worth the GI risk.