Numerous people use aspirin frequently, some even on a daily basis, in hopes that it will protect them against a first-time heart attack or stroke. But a new study would suggest aspirin can be harmful.
Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study conveys that 10 percent of people who use aspirin as a preventive measure for heart illness, may be subjecting themselves to more harm.
As it is widely known, aspirin can stop the development of heart-related problems such as heart attacks and strokes, due to its ability of avoiding the development of blood clots. The cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme glues together the platelets, thus forming blood clots. The acetylsalicilic acid (aspirin) stops the COX from attaching itself to the platelets.
Intake of aspirin can aid in avoiding cardiovascular illnesses, but, as scientists say, it may also be health threatening. Too much use of anti-clotting substances can make blood unable to easily clot, leading to excessive bleeding. In return, too much bleeding may cause hemorrhagic stroke of the brain or internal bleeding, which can both be deadly.
Therefore, doctors advise the intake of aspirin only to people who are known to having risk of unhealthy clotting of the blood, meaning patients who have already endured a heart attack or a stroke.
In the current study, 68,808 people who were under cardiologists’ care, and were registered in the American College of Cardiology’s Pinnacle participated. The research team from Baylor College of Medicine analyzed everyone’s medical records, focusing on patients who were using aspirin to avoid a first-time stroke or heart attack.
Of the participants, nearly 8,000 took the drug even though they had a low risk of a stroke or heart attack in the next ten years. This made a total percentage of 11.6 of people who took aspirin inappropriately. Their average age was of 49.9. Also, compared with men and elderly people, it seems that younger people and women were more inclined to take aspirin without needing it.
The researchers couldn’t determine whether people were doing so in accordance with their doctors, or on their own will.
The American College of Cardiology scientific team that conducted the research concluded that more than one in ten people used aspirin inappropriately. Also, they say that important measures should be put in place in order to better the methods of aspirin intake as prevention for cardiovascular diseases.
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