How An Aspirin a Day Can Keep a Heart Attack Away

Want to avoid a heart attack? Who doesn’t! That’s the reason physicians recommend that people with a high risk for a heart attack take an aspirin every day.

So how does aspirin help prevent heart attacks? Simply put, aspirin “thins” the blood. It makes the blood less sticky, so that it’s less likely to clump together and form a blood clot. Most heart attacks occur when a clot blocks the flow of blood in a vessel that feeds the heart.  Unfortunately, less than half the people who could benefit from a daily dose of aspirin actually do.

Consider the Risks First
Before you start taking aspirin, be sure to talk to your physician. There are side effects that could outweigh the benefits of a daily aspirin, especially with long-term use. For example, aspirin can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines. So you should tell your doctor if you have an aspirin allergy or intolerance or drink alcohol regularly. Your doctor can also help you determine the right daily dose to take, from a baby aspirin (81 milligrams) to a regular strength tablet (325 milligrams). If you suffer from a irritated stomach when taking aspirin on a regular basis, you should talk to your physician immediately.

Source: Mayo Clinic, Harvard Health Publications