LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Many adults take one aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks or stroke. But a new study has found that only people at high or moderate risk for those diseases should be taking aspirin.
Researchers looked at several studies involving more than 100,000 people without prior heart disease. They found that while people taking aspirin once a day had fewer heart attacks, the therapy didn’t lower death rates.
“We know that aspirin works in people who are high and even moderate risk, ” Dr. Tara Narula of Lenox Hill Hospital said. “It’s the people who are low risk that we’re not really sure whether using an aspirin a day or every other day is beneficial.”
Doctors say patients have to consider the side effects. Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding in the stomach and intestine.
Patients without a history of heart problems should talk with their physicians first to see if aspirin is the right choice.