Quiz: Does an aspirin a day, keep the doctor away?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, with over 600,000 people dying each year.
A United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) study this year found that a daily aspirin may help to reduce heart ailments.
The recommendation, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, applies to those men and women in their 50s who are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Risk factors include high blood pressure, a family history of heart attack or stroke, high cholesterol and a history of smoking.
Dr. Imran Ali, a cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at Trinity Hospital in Chicago, notes that while there have been successful outcomes in patients taking daily aspirin, everyone has a varied health history, so there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation for every patient and every age group.
“Before starting any new regimen, such as a daily aspirin, I advise people to speak with their cardiologist or primary care physician first,” says Dr. Ali.
Given the potential benefits of aspirin in fighting heart disease, how much do you know about the medication?
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