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Useless and dangerous: 29 million Americans take aspirin daily without an indication

A new study by experts from Harvard has shown that taking aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases is not only often useless, but can also be very dangerous for a healthy person. According to scientists, in the United States about 29 million people drink aspirin for prevention, of which 6,6 million prescribed the drug themselves.

Фото: Depositphotos

According to a study published on July 22, about 29 million people aged 40 and older took aspirin every day (2017 data of the year), despite the absence of cardiovascular diseases, writes USA Today.

The study also showed that about 6,6 of a million of them prescribed the drug to themselves without consulting a doctor and never received such advice from a professional. Nearly 10 million people older than 70 who have not had heart disease, have taken aspirin daily for prevention, according to researchers at Annals of Internal Medicine.

This discovery was made against the background of numerous extensive studies conducted in the past year, which showed that as a result of taking regular aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, only minor benefits can be obtained, especially when it comes to elderly people.

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Another study showed that taking even low doses of aspirin is associated with an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage in healthy people without cardiovascular diseases.

Studies contradict what doctors have recommended for decades: it was believed that taking aspirin daily from 75 to 100 milligrams helped prevent strokes and heart attacks.

“Many patients are confused by the new information,” said Dr. Colin O'Brien of Beth Israel Clinic, who led the study.

All recent research has prompted the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to change their recommendations:

- People over 70 who do not have heart disease (or are younger, but have an increased risk of bleeding) should avoid taking aspirin daily for prevention.

- Only a few people between the ages of 40 and 70, who do not yet have heart disease, but have a high enough risk, can take 75 to 100 mg of aspirin per day, but in each case, the doctor must make a decision.

“Doctors need to be very selective in prescribing aspirin to people without heart disease,” said cardiologist Roger Blumenthal. "It is much more important to optimize your lifestyle, to control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, than to recommend aspirin."

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Although people with a history of heart problems should not take aspirin regularly, it is still recommended for survivors of a heart attack.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology believe that regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, and a diet rich in vegetables, low in sugar and trans fats are more effective ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

“We hope that more doctors will talk with their patients about aspirin use, and more patients will discuss it with their doctors,” O'Brien said.

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