Millions of people take aspirin every day to lower their heart attack and stroke risk, but new research may change some of that thinking.
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The risk for serious bleeds was five times higher than has been reported in clinical trials of daily low-dose aspirin, says researcher Antonio Nicolucci, MD.
He noted that while daily aspirin therapy has been proven to lower the risk for a second heart attack or stroke in people who have already suffered one, the treatment’s usefulness for preventing a first heart attack or stroke is not so clear.
“People with a moderate-to-high risk for having a major cardiovascular event probably benefit from aspirin therapy, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for people with a lower risk,” Nicolucci says.
Diabetes Linked to Bleeding Risk
Researchers were surprised to find that patients with diabetes had a 36% increased risk for these potentially life-threatening bleeding episodes even when they did not take aspirin. Aspirin use did not appear to influence this risk for people with diabetes one way or another.