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Is a Daily Aspirin Really a Good Idea?

A post in NPR’s Shots blog reports a survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine which found that more than half of Americans aged 45 to 75 take aspirin daily or every other day and 47 percent are taking it even though they have never experienced a heart attack or stroke. While aspirin thins the blood and can prevent heart attack and stroke causing blood clots, long-term use also increases the risk of developing ulcers, bleeding in the brain and gastrointestinal bleeding. For those who have had a heart attack or stroke the benefits outweigh the risks, but the chance that the medication will prevent a first heart attack is about the same that it will cause a harmful side effect.

Read the post in NPR’s Shots blog.

Read the survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.