People without heart disease should think twice before taking aspirin daily. For some, the risk of internal bleeding is not worth the reward. Remember, your doctor's words should come first.
If you've had a heart attack or stroke, you may be on a low dose of daily aspirin. Studies have shown that aspirin could be saving lives. Aspirin can also prevent other major cardiac events. However, if you haven't ever had a heart attack or stroke, taking aspirin to prevent one may be doing more hard than good. Recent studies have shown that the risk of internal bleeding might be higher by taking the pills.
Increased Risk of Bleeding
If you've never had a heart attack or stroke, then you should think again before taking aspirin to help keep it that way. Recently, researchers took a look at data from over ten trials with more than 100,000 adults. They determined that the bleeding risk (intracranial hemorrhage) was 37% higher for people taking aspirin over those taking nothing.
When speaking to MDLinx, study co-author Dr. Meng Lee of Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan said, "Intracranial hemorrhage is a special concern because it is strongly associated with a high risk of death and poorer health over a lifetime … These findings suggest caution regarding using low-dose aspirin in individuals without symptomatic cardiovascular disease,"
This isn't the first time that aspirin has been under fire for safety. As such, it's essential to think about the limitations and implications of these studies. While it's been long known that aspirin can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract as well as the brain.
Previous to these new recommendations, aspirin has been used to prevent platelets from sticking to individual arteries though that has ended now as well. One limitation of these studies is the relatively limited sample size and the low number of clinical trials. As always, you should learn from the past and take your doctor's recommendations first as they have the most knowledge on your and your situation.
As always, new recommendations should be vetted by your doctor. If you are taking aspirin at the advice of your doctor, you should continue to take it and bring up any issues or worries that you have with them. Also, it's essential to wait for your doctor's permission before starting a new medication.