Study shows taking aspirin daily may be harmful

Reporter: Sara Girard
(AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

New recommendations could change the way you or someone you love takes care of their heart. For decades, doctors have recommended to many people that a low dose each day is a good way to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists want to change that, reversing what doctors have believed for generations.

“I hope they’re wrong,” Mike said. “Because I take it.”

Mike said he takes aspirin every day.

For decades, doctors have said a daily dose of baby aspirin (about 75 to 100 milligrams) could prevent heart attack and stroke. Now, in some cases, doctors said it could do more harm than good.

“The new recommendations are based on solid data, involving thousands of patients and different parts of the world, said Dr. Fadi Matar, a cardiologist at Tampa General Hospital.

Matar skyped with WINK News from the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in New Orleans where the study was released.

“There was definitely at least no benefit,” Matar said. “And some of those studies there may have been harm, and that harm was mainly related to bleeding.”

A large clinical trial now suggests the daily regimen has no effect on prolonging life in healthy senior citizens. Instead, it could be linked to major bleeding as Matar said.

“I think we’re always learning new things, and studies are going to come out and reverse a lot.”

If a patient already has cardiovascular issues, it’s a different story.

“It’s very important however that they discuss it with their physician before they stop it on their own.”

The study shows if a patient already has a history of heart attack or stroke for example, the benefits of taking a daily low dose of aspirin could outweigh the risk of bleeding.

“Because some patients may have nuances that they don’t know about that makes their physician want to keep them on aspirin,” Matar said. “So it’s important that they raise the issue with their physicians.”

Some patients are skeptical.

“Maybe he’s wrong,” said of his doctor.

The study reaffirms healthy eating and regular exercise are the best way to maintain a healthy heart.

If you are taking aspirin daily, talk to your doctor.

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