Do I need to take an aspirin every day?

It is well known that some studies have shown that low-dose aspirin can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, particularly in patients who have had myocardial infarctions and strokes (1). Aspirin may even reduce the risk in incidence of colorectal adenomas and colorectal cancers (2). However, recent studies and meta-analysis have cast doubt on the efficacy of low-dose aspirin in primary prevention (3). Also, the risk of bleeding is well known with the use of aspirin. Dr. James DeLemos, Professor in the Division of Cardiology at UT Southwestern and Cardiology Service Chief at Parkland Memorial Hospital, recently gave an interview on KERA News about the pros and cons of daily aspirin use. Click on the link below to listen to the interview or read the transcript!

“Why An Aspirin A Day Can Be Good And Bad For Your Health”

References:

1. Antithrombotic Trialist’s Collaboration. Collaborative meta-analysis of randomised trials of antiplatelet therapy for prevention of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in high risk patients. BMJ. 2002;324(7329):71-86.

2. Dube, Rostom, et al. The use of aspirin for primary prevention of colorectal cancer: a systematic review prepared for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(5):365-75.

3. Fowkes, Price, et al. Aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular events in a general population screened for a low ankle brachial index: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2010;303(9):841-8.

(Image from https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/aspirin-the-research-behind-the-headlines)