Aspirin update

A recent article in JAMA (volume 295, page 306) presents results of a metastudy (summary of several previous studies) on the potential benefits of taking aspirin to prevent strokes and heart disease. The study finds a significant difference in the response of healthy men and women to aspirin. Aspirin reduces the number of heart attacks in men by 32%, while in women, the number of strokes is reduced by 12%. Never the less, neither sexes experience any reduction in mortality from taking aspirin.

So why not take aspirin? The problem is that internal bleeding is increased by about 70% both in men and in women, and happens in approximately 1% of aspirin takers. If there would be a way to detect such bleeding and stop taking aspirin for the sensitive few, it could be beneficial. For more details, please see our detailed writeup.

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Last Modification - January 18, 2006