Healthy should not take daily aspirin

Using aspirin to prevent heart attacks may do more harm than good

Healthy people who take a daily aspirin as a preventative against heart attack and stroke may be doing more harm than good, a doctor has warned.

Thousands of healthy people take a daily aspirin to ward off potential heart attacks and strokes. In addition doctors prescribe low-dose tablets to some patients with diabetes, who are at increased risk of suffering heart disease.

But Dr Ike Iheanacho, editor of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, says that for people with no symptoms of heart disease the practice should be abandoned because the evidence does not back it up. In addition, taking too much aspirin may cause dangerous bleeding of the stomach.

A daily aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of repeat heart attacks and stroke by up to a third. However, recent evidence suggests that where patients do not have symptoms of heart disease, it may be counter-productive, reports the Mail.

A British study in September found that in people without heart disease, taking aspirin can double the chances of dangerous internal bleeding without having any effect on the rate of heart attacks and strokes.

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