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Does Aspirin Help Heart Attack

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Is Taking Aspirin Good For Your Heart

Does aspirin help prevent stroke and heart attacks? – Mayo Clinic Radio

If youve had a heart attack or stroke, theres no doubt that taking low-dose aspirin is beneficial, says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology for the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. But if you dont have heart disease, should you take it just in case? The answer for most individuals is probably not.

A Change In Guidelines

This prompted the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to change guidance in 2019 to recommend that aspirin not be routinely used for heart disease prevention in adults older than 70 or adults of any age who are at an increased risk for bleeding. A low-dose aspirin might be considered for the primary prevention of heart disease among select adults aged 40 to 70 who are at higher risk for the disease, but not at increased risk of bleeding.

For a wide range of patients who have survived a cardiovascular event, the increased risk of bleeding from long-term aspirin use is far less than the decreased risk of another heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death, Dr. Henry said. Therefore, most secondary prevention patients should be prescribed aspirin for long-term use.

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Who Should Not Take Aspirin

People who have certain health problems shouldnt take aspirin. These include people who:

  • Have a stomach ulcer.
  • Have recently had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
  • Are allergic to aspirin.
  • Have asthma that is made worse by aspirin.

If you think you are having a stroke, do not take aspirin because not all strokes are caused by clots. Aspirin could make some strokes worse.

Gout can become worse or hard to treat for some people who take aspirin.

If you take some other blood thinner, talk with your doctor before taking aspirin, because taking both medicines can cause bleeding problems.

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How Much Aspirin Should I Take

Always talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of aspirin therapy before beginning a regular regimen.

A dose of 81 mg, or a baby aspirin is recommended as the daily dose to prevent future heart events. There are also lower and higher dose adult aspirin varieties available. Check with your doctor first to find out what dose is right for you.

Who Should Take Aspirin For Patients In The Following Categories:

If you get Heart Attack, Chew and swallow an aspirin
  • Patients with high homocysteine levels or abnormal C-reactive protein test
  • Those who have experienced heart attack or angina
  • Those who have significant risk factors for heart disease
  • Those who have undergone bypass surgery
  • Those who have risk factors for a heart attack
  • Men over the age of 40 and, possibly, women after menopause
  • Those with knownarteria coronaria disease

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If I Should Not Be Taking Baby Aspirin But Previously Started Doing So Is It Safe To Stop Suddenly

Yes. Unlike some medications which you should not stop taking abruptly, it is safe to stop taking low-dose aspirin without weaning off of it.

If you are someone who should stop taking a daily low-dose aspirin, then you can stop it without weaning, Simon said.

But, he urges caution for anyone whose doctor previously recommended a daily baby aspirin.

I would not stop it without first talking with whoever prescribed it, he said.

Why Take Aspirin For A Heart Attack

A heart attack results from a blockage or clot in the arteries leading to the heart. When this happens, the surrounding heart tissue can’t get oxygen, and that tissue can die and weaken the heart. That’s why it’s essential for medical professionals to quickly remove that clot.

You should immediately call 911 if you think you may be experiencing a heart attack. But once you’re on the line with a 911 operator, they might recommend taking an aspirin because it thins the blood and thus makes it harder for further clots to form.

Taking aspirin in the middle of a heart attack is “critical for preventing the heart attack from getting worse,” says Geoffrey Barnes, MD, a cardiologist at University of Michigan Medicine.

A 911 operator might recommend you take one adult-strength aspirin or two to four low-dose aspirin in the middle of a heart attack, according to the American College of Cardiology. One study found that taking aspirin during a heart attack reduced mortality by 23%.

“I would say that aspirin has been at the center of our treatment for heart attacks for decades,” Barnes says. “It is perhaps the most important or one of the most important things we do, and we have been recommending it to people for a very long time.”

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Can I Take Aspirin For High Blood Pressure

Asked By : Esther Boney

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart diseaseand for years, a low dose of daily aspirin has been considered a safe and healthy way to prevent heart disease. Its reasonable, therefore, to associate aspirin with lowering blood pressure, as a key way of preventing heart attacks and strokes.

What If I Forget To Take It

Aspirin no longer recommended to prevent 1st heart attack or stroke l GMA

If you forget to take a dose of aspirin, take it as soon as you remember. If you dont remember until the following day, skip the missed dose.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember to take your medicine.

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Where Did The Story Come From

This was a conference abstract of a study carried out by researchers from Leiden University Medical Center and Nijmegen University Sanquin Research both in the Netherlands. It was funded by Leiden University Medical Center and the Netherlands Heart Foundation.

The summary was presented this week at a meeting of the American Heart Association. The research has, to the best of our knowledge, not yet been peer-reviewed.

The study was covered widely in the media. Many newspapers tended to overstate the findings and did not mention the study has not yet been published. Though the Daily Mail did include useful comments from independent experts in the UK, while the Daily Telegraph mentioned the risk of side effects from aspirin.

The medias leap that the observed reduction in platelet reactivity would result in reduced risk of heart attack is an assumption that should not be made at the current time.

Aspirin Therapy, heart attack and stroke

For decades, millions of Americans have been advised to take low dose aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks and strokes. But new research is raising questions about this common practice.

Its not that aspirin doesnt work to keep the heart healthy. It does. Its just that the dose your doctor wants you to take may need to change in order to be right for you. Doctors recommend aspirin because it helps to prevent clots from forming that can block blood flow to the heart or brain, causing heart attacks and strokes.

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The independent panel of disease-prevention experts analyzes medical research and literature and issues periodic advice on measures to help keep Americans healthy. Newer studies and a reanalysis of older research prompted the updated advice, Wong said.

Aspirin is best known as a pain reliever but it is also a blood thinner that can reduce chances for blood clots. But aspirin also has risks, even at low doses mainly bleeding in the digestive tract or ulcers, both of which can be life-threatening.

Lauren Block, an internist-researcher at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., said the guidance is important because so many adults take aspirin even though they have never had a heart attack or stroke.

Block, who is not on the task force, recently switched one of her patients from aspirin to a cholesterol-lowering statin drug because of the potential harms.

The patient, 70-year-old Richard Schrafel, has high blood pressure and knows about his heart attack risks. Schrafel, president of a paperboard-distribution business, said he never had any ill effects from aspirin, but he is taking the new guidance seriously.

Rita Seefeldt, 63, also has high blood pressure and took a daily aspirin for about a decade until her doctor told her two years ago to stop.

He said they changed their minds on that, recalled the retired elementary school teacher from Milwaukee. She said she understands that science evolves.

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How Aspirin Can Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Attack

Barnes says that doctors will typically recommend taking a daily baby aspirin if you had a heart attack in the past or if you have blockages in major arteries, such as the arteries leading to the brain or legs.

Daily aspirin only benefits your cardiovascular health if youre at risk for a heart attack. Taking daily aspirin can also increase the risk of bleeding and bruising, and may do more harm than good for healthier people.

For example, research has found that for those who had plaque build up in the heart, aspirin was two to four times more likely to prevent a heart attack than cause major bleeding events. But for those without plaque build-up, aspirin was two to four times more likely to lead to a major bleeding event than to prevent a heart attack.

Barnes says that daily aspirin is not necessary for patients with an overall low risk for a heart attack such as people who are under 70, have never smoked, and dont have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Still, aspirin can have positive effects for those with cardiovascular disease, or with these risk factors. A 2011 study found that if 90% of those who needed to take daily aspirin actually took it, 45,000 lives would be saved per year. Therefore, its important to check in with your doctor to see if a daily aspirin regimen will benefit you.

How Does Aspirin Reduce Pain

Does aspirin help prevent stroke and heart attacks?
  • Chewing the tablet, rather than swallowing it whole, helps release the medication into the bloodstream faster.
  • Men are more likely than women to take or to be given aspirin.
  • Patients over 80 are less likely than others to be prescribed aspirin tablet.

Chemically, aspirin is known as the compound acetylsalicylic acid . It fights pain and inflammation by blocking the enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or COX. When this enzyme is blocked, the body is less able to produce prostaglandin, which is a chemical that signals an injury and triggers pain.

For example, if a person bumps his or her head, the damaged tissue in the head releases chemicals to help the person feel that pain. Some of these chemicals are prostaglandins. Therefore, blocking their production will lessen the pain felt from an injury or body ache. Aspirin does not heal the underlying problem causing the pain , but it can help reduce the number of pain traveling through the nerves to the brain.

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How Should I Take It

First, tell your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If you get the go-ahead to start an aspirin routine, then:

  • Donât take it on an empty stomach. Take aspirin with a full glass of water with meals or after meals to prevent stomach upset.
  • Donât break, crush, or chew extended-release tablets or capsules — swallow them whole. Chewable aspirin tablets may be chewed, crushed, or dissolved in a liquid.
  • Aspirin should never be taken in place of other medications or treatments recommended by your doctor.
  • Never take it with alcohol. That increases your chance of stomach bleeding.

Ask your doctor what other medicines you can take for pain relief or minor colds while you take aspirin. Read the labels of all pain relievers and cold products to make sure theyâre aspirin-free. Other drugs with aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may cause bleeding when taken with your regular aspirin therapy.

Before any surgery, dental procedure, or emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist that youâre taking aspirin. You might need to stop taking it for 5 to 7 days before your procedure.

However, donât stop taking this medicine without first consulting with your doctor.

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What Is The New Guidance About Daily Baby Aspirin

Here are the new guidelines, which are currently in draft form and should be finalized by the end of the year:

  • Adults ages 60 and older who have not had a prior heart attack, stroke, stents or heart or artery surgery, or significant atherosclerosis should not start taking daily baby aspirin. Thats because theres no net benefit when considering the associated bleeding risks, according to the prevention experts.
  • People ages 40 to 59 who have a greater than 10% risk of having a stroke or heart attack over 10 years may get a small net benefit from taking a daily low-dose or baby aspirin. These people should consult with their doctors to weigh the pros and cons.
  • People who have already had a stroke or heart attack and have been advised by their doctors to take a daily baby aspirin should continue with their aspirin regimen. Anyone with questions about their specific circumstances should consult with their doctor prior to stopping aspirin.

Simon emphasizes that the new guidance does not apply to everyone. Initial headlines might have made it seem like everyone should immediately stop taking baby aspirin. Thats not correct, Simon said.

This applies to a very specific patient group, he said.

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Complications Of A Heart Attack

The latest health guidance on taking aspirin as heart attack, stroke preventative

Complications of a heart attack can be serious and possibly life threatening.

These include:

  • arrhythmias these are abnormal heartbeats. 1 type is where the heart begins beating faster and faster, then stops beating
  • cardiogenic shock where the hearts muscles are severely damaged and can no longer contract properly to supply enough blood to maintain many body functions
  • heart rupture where the hearts muscles, walls or valves split apart

These complications can happen quickly after a heart attack and are a leading cause of death.

Many people die suddenly from a complication of a heart attack before reaching hospital or within the 1st month after a heart attack.

The outlook often depends on:

  • age serious complications are more likely as you get older
  • the severity of the heart attack how much of the hearts muscle has been damaged during the attack
  • how long it took before a person received treatment treatment for a heart attack should begin as soon as possible

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Aspirin No Longer Recommended To Prevent First Heart Attack Stroke

April 27, 2022 â People who are age 60 or older should not begin taking daily aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Whatâs more, people ages 40-59 should take daily aspirin only if they have a high risk of cardiovascular disease and have talked with their doctor about whether to start taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke.

After age 75, there is little benefit in continuing daily aspirin use.

âBecause the chance of internal bleeding increases with age, the potential harms of aspirin use cancel out the benefits,â Michael Barry, MD, the task forceâs vice chair and director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in the statement.

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the U.S., making up more than 1 in 4 deaths, the task force said. Although daily aspirin use has been shown to lower the chance of having a first heart attack or stroke, it can also increase the risk for bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines.

For years, doctors have recommended that patients in their 50s begin taking baby aspirin daily to protect against heart attacks and strokes. But in recent years, new evidence has highlighted the possible harms of daily aspirin, and doctors began shifting their recommendations.

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Other Ways To Reduce Your Risk For Heart Disease

Although non-modifiable risk factors such as age and genetics weigh heavily on a persons chances of developing cardiovascular disease, there are measures individuals can take to reduce their risk factors. Bitar encourages his patients to incorporate lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, plant-based or Mediterranean diet, getting regular exercise, avoiding smoking, improving sleep habits and reducing alcohol use.

Blood pressure control, weight loss and well-controlled diabetes are some of the other primary and, for many patients, secondary preventive measures that can significantly reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease altogether or help you avoid a second cardiovascular event, said Bitar.

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