SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Hundreds of thousands of people take aspirin daily to lower their chances of having a heart attack or stroke. A new study finds that for patients with a low risk for those diseases, that aspirin could actually cause very serious health problems.
The study titled, “Frequency and Practice-Level Variation in Inappropriate Aspirin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease,” was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers found that one in 10 patients whose doctors prescribed the preventative daily aspirin, in fact, did not need it.
That unnecessary dose of aspirin could lead to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and bleeding in the brain. It could also make the patients’ blood too thin and lead to complications during surgery.
The study was based on the records of nearly 69,000 patients at 119 cardiology practices in the United States.
Patients are advised to consult a doctor before beginning any sort of daily aspirin routine, and whenever possible, opt for an exercise regime, instead.