hands holding aspirin

An Aspirin a Day, Won't Keep the Doctor Away

In recent years, aspirin has become a mainstay for patients with cardiovascular disease. This has led many people taking aspirin as a preventive measure, thinking that a daily dose will prevent a heart attack. But will you actually benefit from taking a daily aspirin?

Talk to the Experts

Dr. Nanette Oscherwitz, cardiologistThis FDA consumer report states taking daily aspirin is not necessary for people who do not have history of heart problems.

"Newer studies show that aspirin will not prevent heart attacks or stroke," said Dr. Nanette Oscherwitz, Community Physician Network cardiologist.

According to Oscherwitz, the FDA report also brings to light some of the issues that can occur when taking aspirin without a history of heart disease.

"Taking aspirin unnecessarily can greatly increase the risk of bleeding and potential for increase of ulcers," she said.

Therefore, Oscherwitz encourages patients not to take aspirin as a preventive measure, as there is no proven benefit, and it may actually cause more harm than good.

Should You Take Aspirin Daily?

Patients only benefit from taking a daily aspirin after they've had a heart attack, but it's important to consult with your physician first to determine if it is right for you. Your provider may recommend this therapy, but it's important to check with them if you are at risk for bleeding or other complications. 

Your doctor might recommend aspirin therapy if: 

  • You've already had a heart attack or stroke
  • You've had a stent placed, or a coronary bypass procedure
  • You've never had a heart attack but you're at a high risk of having one

You should avoid daily aspirin therapy if: 

  • You have a bleeding or clotting disorder
  • You are allergic to aspirin 
  • You have asthma induced by aspirin 
  • You have stomach ulcers or a history of bleeding ulcers 

The safest way to ensure your health is to talk with your cardiovascular provider to find the right treatment plan for you.

Learn more about your heart health by taking Community Health Network's heart health risk assessment