Edited Jul-06-2010 by Earl

Aspirin - Is it good for you?

Some news about aspirin is not favorable to aspirin.  I bet the pharmaceutical companies love it when the media bashes aspirin.  Why?  Because no one has a patent on aspirin and it's cheap.  The pharmaceutical companies would much rather that we buy their expensive drugs that they have a monopoly over.  

FoxNews had a catchy headline, saying aspirin "may be doing more harm than good".  Really?  There is a much more optimistic web page by the government showing the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation.  

Daily aspirin provides cardiovascular benefit to many, but not all, people

The task force recommendation says that primary care clinicians should recommend their patients within specific age ranges take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke when the benefits outweigh potential harm of GI hemorrhage.  They narrow the ages where this recommendation should be made...

Men:  45-79 years old
Women:  55-79 years old

They say other ages should not get the aspirin recommendation.

The recommendation is not for people who take NSAIDs or have upper GI pain or a history of GI ulcers.  However, for many people the recommendation is that a daily aspirin could help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

But there are other diseases that aspirin helps fight... not just heart disease and stroke.

Aspirin has been shown to reduce certain kinds of cancer

There is data showing that aspirin reduces cancers of the:


[partial source:  Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Milan, Italy]

Stroke Prevention

Aspirin was found to be as good as Tirofiban for treatment of stroke patients.  For comparison purposes, two groups of people that suffered from strokes were given either Tirofiban or aspirin by I.V.  (I wonder if oral aspirin would be as effective.)  After testing 150 patients, the study was discontinued because Tirofiban showed no superiority to aspirin.

[ source:  Study of Efficacy of Tirofiban in acute Ischemic Stroke (SETIS) ]

Aspirin and Ulcers

Which is worse... peptic ulcer bleeding or dying from a heart attack?  Which would you rather have?  

A study in China addressed this.  [ Ann Intern Med January 5, 2010 152:1-9 ] They took a group of 156 patients that were on low-aspirin therapy and had peptic ulcer bleeding.  The thinking is:  remove the aspirin and hope the bleeding stops.  They split the patients up into two groups:

1 group continued receiving aspirin.
1 group stopped aspirin and took a placebo instead.

The group that continued taking aspirin had slightly more ulcer bleeding (10.3%) versus the no-aspirin group (5.4%).  However, the aspirin group had a lower mortality rate after 30 days (1.3%) versus the no-aspirin group (12.9%).  

Yes, more people taking aspirin had recurrent bleeding ulcers, but more of them were alive after 30 days to talk about it.  For the group that discontinued aspirin, some of them still had recurrent bleeding ulcers and more of them died.  Aspirin may help keep people alive even if they have bleeding ulcers.  


fe panti - April 9, 2012

my hubby had a hostory of gastric ulcer year 2005,,can he take aspirin,,is vessel duo effective as aspirin?thanks much

Earl - April 9, 2012

That's an interesting question, but I am sorry that I am not qualified to know the answer.  God bless you for caring enough about your husband to seek help for him.

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