Chicago Health | Homepage
An Aspirin a Day May Keep Heart Attacks and Strokes Away

An Aspirin a Day May Keep Heart Attacks and Strokes Away

By Julie A. Jacob

Aspirin is like the Swiss army knife of medications—it can relieve pain, fever and inflammation and can also help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that adults aged 50 to 59 who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (but not prone to bleeding) take a low-dose 81 mg aspirin daily. The task force also noted that:

People at risk for heart attacks and strokes who take a daily aspirin for 10 years or more may also lower their risk of developing colon cancer.

There’s not enough evidence to advise for or against daily aspirin use for people younger than 50 or older than 70; those 60 to 69 should consult with their physician.

Because regular aspirin use can cause health problems, such as stomach bleeding, the American Cancer Society does not recommend taking aspirin solely to reduce cancer risk.

“For some people 50 years and older, the benefits of low-dose aspirin in regard to heart disease, colon cancer and overall mortality can outweigh the risk,” says John Revis, MD, an internist with NorthShore University HealthSystem.

However, Revis cautions, “Patients should first talk to their doctor about what their individual risks and benefits are before starting an aspirin regimen.”

Originally published in the Fall 2016 print edition

Similar Articles

Hold Your (Charley) Horses

Hold Your (Charley) Horses

By Kevin Sterne Has a nocturnal leg cramp jolted you awake recently? That intense knotting in

Seeking Drug to Treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Seeking Drug to Treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

By Chuck Green Chicago-area families are advocating for new medications for what would be the first

Myth or Fact?

Myth or Fact?

We asked leading Chicago doctors to weigh in on some common health conceptions By Laura Drucker   MYTH OR

Pure Oxygen Helps Wound Healing

Pure Oxygen Helps Wound Healing

By Chuck Green Normal wounds often heal quickly on their own. However, the healing process can

Is watermelon healthy? Plus more summer myths explained

Is watermelon healthy? Plus more summer myths explained

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. Some persistent food and health myths just don't seem to go

Media Partner

AgingInfo_Radio300x200res