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Recommendation 11: Benefit from Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy

Aspirin has an immediate and lasting effect on blood platelets, making them less likely to clump together and form a blood clot. More than 50 randomized trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of aspirin as a cardiovascular drug.1

Low-dose aspirin is recommended for people over 45 with at least one cardiovascular risk factor and no conditions that are contraindicated with aspirin use. Risk factors for heart disease include male gender, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, and family history of heart attack or stroke.2

Less well-known is the fact that aspirin is also a powerful anti-cancer agent. A breakthrough publication in the January 2011 Lancet determined that overall relative risk of cancer death in eight trials involving over 25,000 patients was reduced by about 21%.3

Caution: The daily use of aspirin might not be right for everyone. Recent studies indicated that for patients with Type 2 diabetes, low-dose aspirin as primary prevention may not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.4 Please note that non-compliance may cause aspirin “resistance”, i.e., hyporesponsiveness to aspirin in a platelet function test.5 Aspirin “resistant” patients or “poor responders” to aspirin (which occurs in 10% to 20% of patients) may have higher risk for recurrent cardiovascular ischemic events.6-8 If you are considering daily low-dose aspirin therapy, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Warning: Ask a doctor before use if you have asthma, ulcers, bleeding problems, or stomach problems (such as heartburn, upset stomach or stomach pain) that persist or recur.

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