Should you really take an aspirin a day? - KMSP-TV

Should you really take an aspirin a day?

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(WJBK) - Centuries ago, doctors discovered a bitter powder from willow bark that could ease aches and pains. That powder turned out to be aspirin. Now hundreds of years later, many are still asking the question, 'Do I need to be taking it every day?' The FDA has a clear answer.

"Not everybody in the world needs to take an aspirin a day," says cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn. He agrees aspirin is cheap, easy to find and seemingly harmless, but says not everyone should take it daily to protect their heart. The FDA has just issued the same ruling.
"They looked at all the scientific data and, although aspirin is absolutely important for people with heart disease and other medical conditions, they just didn't find the data to say everybody in this country should take an aspirin from age 30 on, or 40 on or 50 on.

The government is telling Bayer it cannot market it's aspirin for the prevention of heart attack or stoke in healthy people. Aspirin is a blood thinner and the FDA finds the risks of internal bleeding don't outweigh the potential benefits in healthy patients.

However, for certain people aspirin can have a protective effect.
"Anybody who has heart disease, and that could be a heart attack, a stroke, a bypass, a stent, you've had a catheterization, somehow you know you've got blocked legs - if your arteries are roughened up an aspirin can prevent that bad event, like the first heart attack or first stroke.

Talk to your doctor before you stop or start taking aspirin.
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