Women's health * Men's health * 50+ health * Healthy living

Aspirin should not be used preventively

Aspirin should not be used preventively if you are healthy Unless you have artery or heart disease

Aspirin, which is widely recommended in small doses to prevent heart trouble, should not be taken by healthy people, a new study confirms.

It should only be taken by those who have symptoms of artery disease, such as angina, heart attack or stroke. In those cases a small daily dose of aspirin can reduce ongoing risk.

"The findings of this study agree with our current advice that people who do not have symptomatic or diagnosed artery or heart disease should not take aspirin, because the risks of bleeding may outweigh the benefits," said Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis trial.

The trial assessed people between the age of 50 and 75 who did not present the symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

The Aspirin Foundation, which offers information to consumers and doctors on the uses of aspirin, said aspirin could be used preventively in small doses if the doctor judged the patient to be at risk due to obesity and other factors that contribute to heart disease.

This article was published on Tue 1 September 2009

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