Millions of middle and older people byAspirin is consumed daily throughout the world not only as the simplest and most affordable pain medication, but also to reduce the likelihood of blood clots in the blood vessels, lowering blood viscosity. In the latter case, doctors prescribed daily intake of this drug to people who have already experienced heart attacks or strokes, as well as became victims of other heart diseases. However, a new study by scientists has shown that aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases also takes a huge number of people who do not have heart problems.
In their work, scientists from HarvardBeth-Izreel Medical Center used data from the 2017 national survey. From the survey it became clear that about 29 million people aged 40 years and older take aspirin daily, despite the absence of cardiovascular diseases. About 6.6 million of them prescribed the drug without first consulting with a doctor and never received such a recommendation. Nearly 10 million people over 70 years old who do not have heart disease also take aspirin daily for prevention. All these people, the study authors say, are at risk.
What is dangerous aspirin?
Scientists make their conclusions about the dangers of aspirinbased on numerous extensive studies conducted in recent years. All of them showed that taking aspirin as a prophylactic against cardiovascular diseases is of little benefit, but it significantly increases the risk to human life. Especially when it comes to older people. The drug has a number of serious side effects that overlap all its advantages.
The biggest side effect isthat taking daily aspirin may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, because it interacts with platelets - blood cells that ensure its clotting. In addition, regular intake of aspirin destroys the gastrointestinal mucosa, increasing the risk of developing duodenal ulcer. By the way, experts from the medical center Beth-Isreel noted that the presence of peptic ulcer disease in some respondents did not cause people to refuse the drug or at least reduce its daily dosage.
Another study showed that taking even low doses of aspirin is associated with an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage in healthy people without cardiovascular diseases.
In another study, scientists tried to getanswer to the question: does the drug reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in healthy older people. Participants were divided into two groups. People of the first group took a placebo daily (a substance without any medicinal properties), people from the second group took 100 mg of aspirin. As a result, in the aspirin group, the death rate and the incidence of dementia were higher than in the placebo group. The results showed that the drug not only cannot prolong life or prevent the first heart attack, but, on the contrary, can increase the risk for elderly patients.
Many are confused by the new information. But we hope that more and more doctors will talk with their patients about the use of aspirin, and more patients will discuss it with their doctors, says Dr. Colin O’Brien from the Beth Israel clinic, who led the study.
When can I take aspirin?
The results of recent research have forcedThe American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology change their recommendations for taking aspirin as a prophylactic against heart disease.
Now they note that people over 70 who have no heart disease (or younger, but have an increased risk of bleeding) should avoid taking aspirin daily for prevention.
At the same time, the new recommendations indicatethat in some cases, taking aspirin is possible. We are talking about people from 40 to 70 years old, who still have no heart disease, but there is a fairly high risk of their development. American cardiologists say that in this case, a person can take from 75 to 100 mg of aspirin per day. But in any case - no self. Taking the drug, cardiologists say, is possible only after consulting with your doctor.
How to avoid heart problems
Cardiologists call the most effective way to prevent cardiovascular diseases a healthy lifestyle - proper nutrition and avoiding bad habits.
See also: How to increase life expectancy? What can be done now?
Regular exercise, maintaininga healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and a diet rich in vegetables, low in sugar and trans fats will have a much more reliable effect, significantly reducing the risk of heart problems.
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