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Aspirin reduces heart attacks, strokes?

March 16, 2009 3:45:18 PM PDT
A government task force is strengthening its recommendations on aspirin therapy as a way to reduce heart disease and strokes.The United States Preventive Services Task Force now finds compelling evidence men over 45 and women over 55 should take a daily aspirin, provided their risk for cardiovascular disease is higher than their risk for internal bleeding.

Studies show it reduces heart attacks in men and strokes in women with risk factors such as older age, diabetes, and high cholesterol or blood pressure levels.

Government data shows only 16 percent of adults with multiple risk factors for heart disease take a daily aspirin.

According to Dr. Timothy Johnson, a health specialist for ABC News, the task force did not address one big remaining question about the best dose of aspirin to take to prevent heart attacks or strokes.

Johnson says that many experts believe that a baby aspirin is ideal because it is effective against heart disease while carrying a lower risk for internal bleeding.

Johnson says internal bleeding is rare, but could be a serious complication of aspirin treatment.


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