MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) — You’ve heard for decades, take an aspirin a day to ward off a heart attack, but for some people it doesn’t apply and could do more harm.
A new extensive study just released about taking baby aspirin has raised a lot of questions.
We sort it out with a cardiologist with our partners at Intermountain Medical Center.
The near 5 year study looked at roughly 20,000 healthy elderly patients.
Dr. Kent Meredith, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, ‘the study found, that in fact, for these types of patients there isn’t an advantage to being on a baby aspirin and in fact there was a low risk of bleeding complications.’
But Dr. Kent Meredith, Interventional Cardiologist at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute cautions people.
‘please don’t just decide to stop your aspirin, for some of them, that decision could be life threatening. Remember this study was looking at healthy patients in their 70s and 80s and this really does not apply with those with heart disease, those who have had heart attacks, a bypass surgery or a stent in their heart or who have had a stroke. Those patients have clearly benefited from taking aspirin.’
Dr. Meredith says some people have gotten into the habit of taking a daily aspirin even though they might not need it because of just how effective the drug is.
‘a patient in the middle of a heart attack if they take aspirin, that is one of the most powerful medications they can use to reverse the process.’
Dr. Meredith says that fact, has prompted some people to want that peace of mind to prevent a heart attack. He says that may apply to people with a heart condition but there is a slight chance it causes unnecessary bleeding in healthy people.
‘what we really want them to do is call their doctor and ask if this study applies for them. For a lot of patients, yes, this is information that will be beneficial.’
Dr. Meredith recommends his patients to exercise daily, eat healthy and talk to your doctor about any changes.