How an aspirin can do harm than good?

The regular use of aspirin can cut the rate of non-fatal heart attack but at the same time it can also increase the risk of internal bleeding by a third too. Healthy people who take aspirin daily to prevent heart attack could be doing more harm than good. According to a report it has been seen that mostly people over fifty years of age would be benefited from having aspirin prescribed by the doctor.

The new study found that healthy people who take aspirin can reduce their already small risk of stroke by 12%, but the small risk of internal bleeding can be increased by a third. There were five fewer cases of heart attack for every ten thousand people treated but at the same time increase cases of in internal bleeding per ten thousand treated.

In another study it is found that where patients were taking aspirin to prevent a repeat attack, aspirin reduced the chances of serious vascular events by about one-fifth & this benefit clearly outweighed the small risk of bleeding. “The latest research does not seem to justify general guidelines advocating the routine use of aspirin in all healthy individuals”, Prof Baigent said.

In both studies the reduction in risk was similar for male & female both. Drug safety really matters when some drug is prescribed for millions of healthy people. They don’t have good evidence for that for healthy people, the benefits of long term aspirin exceed the risk by am appropriate margin.

The senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Ellen Mason said, “This study on the use of aspirin in primary prevention, partly funded by the British Health Foundation, provides further confirmation that in those without exiting heart disease there is limited benefit from taking aspirin due to the risk of bleeding.”

So for doctors, it is better to weigh up the benefits & risk on an individual basis before prescribing aspirin. They should not develop a blanket guideline suggesting everyone at risk of heart disease is routinely prescribed aspirin. This will ensure the safety of the patients.


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