If you or anyone you know has had a history of cardiac issues, you’ve most likely heard about preventative aspirin. If you’re wondering if a baby aspirin (81mg) should be a part of your daily regimen, the first step is discussing it with your healthcare provider. They will be able to inform you about heart disease prevention options and determine if aspirin is the right choice for you.
Below we will provide education and general suggestions regarding preventative aspirin but be sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider before beginning medication.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whether or not aspirin therapy is right for you depends on age, history and risk of cardiac disease, history of diabetes, and other modifiable factors such as smoking. The benefit of taking a daily aspirin if you already have a history of cardiac disease (heart attack, stroke, vascular disease, etc) has already been proven. The Mayo Clinic states it is still being debated if someone without a history of cardiac disease should begin preventative aspirin. Examples of people who may benefit from daily aspirin usage according to the Mayo Clinic include but aren’t limited to: ● 40-59 years old with a high risk (>10%) of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years ● <60 years old with diabetes and 1 or more heart disease risk factors (ex. Smoking, hypertension) ● History of coronary bypass surgery, stent placement, or coronary artery disease.
Aspirin works by preventing the blood’s clotting capability. This clotting is needed to help plug wounds/tears in blood vessels and aid in stopping bleeding but the clotting can also be harmful. For people in need of daily aspirin, it will help prevent these clots from building up and causing vessel injury or even a heart attack. Talk to your healthcare provider before beginning aspirin therapy as it should be avoided in certain patient populations. If you have a prior bleeding/clotting disorder, allergy, or GI issues, daily aspirin may not be safe for you.
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
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