My doctor recommended that I take a daily low dose of aspirin for my heart health.
For the past couple of decades, many medical experts have been recommending adults to take a daily low dose aspirin to help improve their heart health. By low dose, it refers to aspirin having a dose of only 75mg-100mg.
Bayer manufactures and sells the most popular low dose (81mg) aspirin, characterized by the yellow bottle with a green cap. You can find them on the shelves at almost every drugstore and grocery in America. Sam’s Club sells the same low dose (81mg) aspirin in a similar yellow bottle with green cap.
On the same day, this post was written, I saw commercials advertising Bayer low dose aspirin for heart health. The commercial did have a disclaimer recommending that everyone check with their doctor before taking low dose aspirin on a daily basis and for good reason. According to the Mayo Clinic, the complications or side effects of a daily regime of low dose aspirin include strokes caused by ruptured blood vessels and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Additionally, taking a daily low dose aspirin can also react with some medications, causing an increased risk of bleeding. Those medications include Heparin, ibuprofen, corticosteroids, clopidogrel (Plavix) and some antidepressants. Taking a daily low aspirin can also increase the risk of bleeding when taken in conjunction with the following supplements – bilberry, capsaicin, cat’s claw, danshen (red sage), evening primrose oil, gingko, kava, ma-Huang, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
However, on the same page, the Mayo Clinic states:
Daily aspirin therapy may lower your risk of heart attack, but daily aspirin therapy isn’t for everyone. Is it right for you?
If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor will likely recommend you take a daily aspirin unless you have a serious allergy or history of bleeding. If you have a high risk of having a first heart attack, your doctor will likely recommend aspirin after weighing the risks and benefits.
More importantly, the Mayo Clinic states:
You shouldn’t start daily aspirin therapy on your own, however. While taking an occasional aspirin or two is safe for most adults to use for headaches, body aches or fever, daily use of aspirin can have serious side effects, including internal bleeding.
However, many adults, especially older adults take a daily low dose aspirin without consulting their doctor. They believe that it is a safe and healthy preventative measure.
But is it?
Most people are not aware that aspirin interferes with blood clotting, which is why it can help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, but, that also increases the risk of bleeding, internally and externally.
Science Alert posted a reason why it isn’t as safe of good as so many believe:
An aspirin a day keeps heart problems away, the traditional thinking goes, but in the last couple of years questions have been asked about that approach.
Now, the results of a new study show just how many people are popping a daily aspirin when they don’t need to (and perhaps shouldn’t be).
The most up-to-date guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) say that anyone over the age of 70 with heart disease, or anyone younger with heart disease and an increased risk of bleeding, shouldn’t be taking a daily aspirin.
The official advice now is that only a select number of 40 to 70-year-olds with a higher risk of developing heart disease should be taking 75-100 milligrams of aspirin a day, and that call needs to be made by a doctor.
Using the most recent numbers available – from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, which is representative of the US population – researchers analysed a sample of data on 14,000 adults older than 40 years.
Then, by scaling the findings up to the entire US population, the study estimated that approximately 29 million people aged 40 and above were taking a daily aspirin without having any known heart disease; 6.6 million of them are doing so without a recommendation from their doctor.
Another 10 million people over the age of 70 without any current heart disease problems are still taking an aspirin every day, the study shows – something the latest ACC/AHA guidelines specifically advise against…
What does this mean?
If you are one of the millions who are taking a low dose aspirin on a daily basis, make sure you have checked with your doctor to see if it is okay. Your daily regime may be doing more harm than good.