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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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July 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 5)

Why you shouldn't take an aspirin a day if you're healthy
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Why you shouldn't take an aspirin a day if you're healthy image

Taking an aspirin a day to prevent heart disease or a stroke is not worth it. Any benefits are far outweighed by the risks that it may trigger life-threatening bleeding, a new study has concluded.

The painkiller increases the risk of major, life-threatening bleeding by nearly 50 per cent, and yet has only a marginal protective effect against heart disease.

For healthy people who don't have heart disease, the risks just aren't worth it, say researchers from King's College London. They discovered that the drug reduced the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease by just 11 per cent, and yet raised the risk of major bleeding by 43 per cent. This means that one out of every 200 people regularly taking an aspirin would suffer a major, and potentially life-threatening, bleed.

The researchers couldn't find any evidence to support claims that aspirin also helped reduce the risk of cancer. People who were regularly taking the painkiller were just as likely to develop cancer and die from the disease, they found.


References

(Source: JAMA, 2019; 321: 277-87)

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