According to a new study performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center, only a relatively small percentage of doctors are recommending daily aspirin for the prevention of heart attack, stroke and cancer to eligible patients.
While “an aspirin a day” has been a popular prevention method in recent decades, and is approved by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), there are many natural methods which may deliver the desired preventative effect in many cases.
For their study, researchers analyzed the data of 3,439 patients, considered to be a national sample. Of those that were found to be eligible for daily aspirin therapy, only 34 percent of the men and 42 percent of the women reported that their doctor had recommended this course of action.
The study authors wrote, “despite an ‘A recommendation’ from the USPSTF for aspirin for primary prevention of CVD [cardiovascular disease], the majority of men and women potentially eligible for aspirin did not recall a clinical recommendation from their clinician.”
The reason that aspirin is prescribed for the prevention of heart attack and stroke is that this drug helps to reduce the clumping of blood platelets. Daily aspirin is often recommended to individuals who have had a heart attack or stroke, or if one is considered to be at a high risk for these events. However, aspirin has its negative side effects which have to be factored into the equation.
Taking aspirin on a regular basis can lead to internal bleeding in some individuals. It can also lead to severe allergic reactions, including asthma, in people sensitive to this drug. For people with a bleeding disorder or who have bleeding stomach ulcers, aspirin can be very dangerous.
The study authors cite several potential reasons why not many doctors are recommending aspirin, including time limits to assess eligibility for the treatment, doubts about aspirin’s benefits and the potentially dangerous side effects of aspirin.
It is also possible that more medical professionals are now seeing the potential that natural therapies can have in the prevention of heart disease and other chronic ailments.
As we explored in a previous article, there are many foods, herbs and spices that help to improve circulation and may be instrumental in the prevention of arterial clogging. However, always talk to a medical professional of your choice before starting a regimen with these, especially if you have a health condition.
If you already take aspirin daily and want to stop, talk to your doctor about how to do this safely. According to the Mayo Clinic, “you might be surprised to learn that stopping daily aspirin therapy can have a rebound effect that may increase your risk of heart attack. If you have had a heart attack or a stent placed in one or more of your heart arteries, stopping daily aspirin therapy can lead to a life-threatening heart attack.”
In some cases, daily aspirin may be beneficial. In other cases, however, natural alternatives may be sufficient depending on your individual condition. If you have been told by your physician to take daily aspirin and are unsure whether this is the best course of action for you, ask them about all of your options, or talk to multiple health professionals that you trust, so that you can make the most informed decision possible for your health.
-The Alternative Daily