We’ve all likely heard how aspirin can decrease the risk of heart disease in men, especially when used to prevent a heart attack. Thus, daily aspirin as a preventative measure has become widely popular. However, more and more research has accumulated that shows the risks associated with regular aspirin intake, and that these risks often outweigh the benefits. The foremost of these risks is serious stomach bleeding, which requires hospitalization.
One recent study involved 28,000 women age 45 and older. They were randomly asked to take either 100 milligrams of aspirin or a placebo every other day. During the course of 10 years, researchers followed up to collect results. Among the benefits that women saw from regular aspirin were slightly lower rates of colon cancer and heart disease, but this was outweighed by the increased occurrences of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Interestingly, age played a great role in the results. While both the potential risks and benefits increased with age, they seemed to balance out at around age 65. After that, the potential benefit seemed to outweigh the risk. Please note that the risk was still very much present at that point, but the reduced risk of cancer or heart disease may have been worth the risk at that point.
For women under 65, however, the risk outweighed the benefit. The decreased possibility of cancer or heart disease was too small to be worth the increased risk of bleeding. And this is just from using low-dose aspirin every other day. The risks would only be compounded for daily use, especially in younger women.
But what about heart disease? In recent years, more attention has been given to preventing cardiovascular disease in women, and methods for prevention have seen greater emphasis.
Also know that aspirin has the greatest positive effect for those who are already at high risk for heart disease—and those results have been shown primarily in men. This means that if you are not already at risk, you risk more than you gain by taking an aspirin every day. Unless you have a history of heart disease in your family or already had a heart attack, daily aspirin intake is more dangerous than helpful if you are under age 65.
Whether you are taking aspirin regularly for heart disease prevention or for combating daily back pain or headaches, the risks are not worth it if you are under 65. Instead, visit a chiropractor for pain relief and for heart-healthy benefits.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.