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Aspirin a day?
Old 10-26-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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Aspirin a day?

For years, I've been told by various docs that I should take an aspirin, or baby aspirin a day. At my last checkup, I commented that both of my parents had died of strokes. The doc said that if their strokes were caused by blockages, then the aspirin was a good idea, but if their strokes were the result of broken blood vessels, the aspirin could work against me.

My older siblings are clueless about the specifics of the strokes. So I'm wondering if this doc's recommendation is a good one, and if so, how can I find out more specifics of my parent's strokes?
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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I'm sure Rich has some good info for you. My doc recommended a regular aspirin every couple of days or so but I couldn't remember to do it. So I take a baby aspirin everyday. Easy to remember that way. No family history requiring one, just a preventive measure.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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If your risk of a heart attack is greater than about 1% per year, the benefits of daily aspirin outweigh the risks. Your doctor can do that calculation from your known risk factors. One way to do the risk calculation is here.

Aspirin is pretty safe, but some get stomach problems or hemorrhage so it's not like sugar pills.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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I've gotten this recommendation also -- I think my doc recommends it to all his patients. When I read on this forum that aspirin might help against restless legs, I started taking one baby aspirin each night before going to bed.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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If a person has no history of stomach problems at all is there any risk that I would need to worry about if I take an aleve every day (or 4-5 times per week)?
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #6
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Our family Doc recommended to my Dad that he do the one-a-day aspirin regimen.......and he followed it religiously. The only side effect was that if he got a cut, it bled a slight bit longer than normal, but nothing serious.

We don't have any family history of heart disease or heart attacks, though we do a fairly long history of elevated blood pressure.....which we keep very much in check!! I take one of the Bayer 81mg aspirins fairly regularly, though it isn't every day.....I occasionally miss one or two days. My Mom does the same.

You know what they say about an ounce of prevention! It's kind of like the BP meds that I take......I read all of the fine print (really...I did!) including the "possible" side effects........but I figure the slight possibility of minor side effects far out weighs being DEAD!!!
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
For years, I've been told by various docs that I should take an aspirin, or baby aspirin a day. At my last checkup, I commented that both of my parents had died of strokes. The doc said that if their strokes were caused by blockages, then the aspirin was a good idea, but if their strokes were the result of broken blood vessels, the aspirin could work against me.
I lost a grandfather to a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and now I'm eight years older than his age at his death. So I hope that ship has sailed.

All the other strokes in my family (and I suspect many families) could be styled as they asked for it lifestyle issues.

If you're looking for blood thinners there are alternatives. Vitamin E (even just 400 IU/day) and vitamin C (even just 500 mg/day) seem to do the job quite well. I chug ibuprofen by the handful but I don't use aspirin anymore.
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #8
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I take the full rigamarole for people at high risk, including two baby aspirin a day. There's nothing like a "heart event" to encourage compliance with the doctor's suggestions.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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It was the rebound effect (among other things) that stopped me from starting. I travel a lot and don't want to get into trouble if I get separated from a cache of pills.
YMMV. Aspirin may be for you, but think about it. It's not like taking a candy pill.
But of course I'm no doctor and have no formal medical training.

Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks - MayoClinic.com

"What happens if I stop taking aspirin every day? While you might know that taking daily aspirin helps prevent additional heart attacks or strokes, you might be surprised to learn that stopping daily aspirin therapy can have a rebound effect that may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you've been on daily aspirin therapy and want to stop, it's important to talk to your doctor before making any changes. Suddenly stopping daily aspirin therapy could have a rebound effect that may trigger a blood clot."
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
For years, I've been told by various docs that I should take an aspirin, or baby aspirin a day. At my last checkup, I commented that both of my parents had died of strokes. The doc said that if their strokes were caused by blockages, then the aspirin was a good idea, but if their strokes were the result of broken blood vessels, the aspirin could work against me.
My Father had both kinds of strokes and the doctor told me the same thing about the effect. I decided it was a win win. I've helped my odds from one kind of stroke and heart attack and I will die faster if I get the other.

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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When I turned 40, my doc put me on 2 baby aspirin (81mg each) and 400mg of folic acid a day. I have had no problems but she was adamant that I do that........
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:35 PM   #12
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My father took an aspirin every day for years before he died (at 81). His father followed the same protocol until his death (at 91). But here was dad's problem: even though he had heart symptoms of shortness of breath, he refused to have a checkup. I don't know if the daily aspirin did dad any good in the greater scheme of things, but I'm sure that by ignoring his symptoms it led to his earlier than necessary death. FIL ignored similar symptoms, and he also died from a sudden heart attack. What I've taken from this is that you can ignore the aspirin, but don't ignore the signs of heart problems.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:56 PM   #13
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I carry a plastic container attached to my key chain; it contains one full size non-coated aspirin in case of heart attack symptoms in another, and nitroglycerin for myself.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:20 AM   #14
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If you are taking a daily low dose of aspirin you may be interested in getting tested to see if it will do you any good. : Home

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Old 10-28-2008, 07:53 AM   #15
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Jimnjana, you bring up an interesting and controversial point: not everyone who takes aspirin has the thromboxane effect (platelet inhibition), and in the lab they appear to be "aspirin resistant." But it is not clear whether this finding means the aspirin isn't working. There are other actions of aspirin that may also account for its cardiovascular benefit, so "resistant patients" may yet get benefit; the story may not be complete.

So until someone proves one way or the other that "thromboxane"-guided aspirin decisions are safer and more effective that conventional 81mg per day, we'll just have to await further research. I don't check for aspirin resistance in my patient because there's no conclusive evidence that doing so brings them benefit.

But I do believe there is a biologic reason why this may turn out to be the case, so we'll wait for better research. At any rate, my sources will likely not include the manufacturer of the lab test kits.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:29 AM   #16
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Jimnjana, you bring up an interesting and controversial point: not everyone who takes aspirin has the thromboxane effect (platelet inhibition), and in the lab they appear to be "aspirin resistant." But it is not clear whether this finding means the aspirin isn't working. There are other actions of aspirin that may also account for its cardiovascular benefit, so "resistant patients" may yet get benefit; the story may not be complete.

So until someone proves one way or the other that "thromboxane"-guided aspirin decisions are safer and more effective that conventional 81mg per day, we'll just have to await further research. I don't check for aspirin resistance in my patient because there's no conclusive evidence that doing so brings them benefit.

But I do believe there is a biologic reason why this may turn out to be the case, so we'll wait for better research. At any rate, my sources will likely not include the manufacturer of the lab test kits.
Rich,

I posted link to let people know a test exists that determines whether or not you may be resistant to aspirins effect. The benefit that these people get from taking aspirin is in fact questionable and is being studied.
It was not meant to provide research into usefulness of aspirin therapy. I'm not aware of other FDA approved tests are you?

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Old 10-28-2008, 08:47 AM   #17
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I posted link to let people know a test exists that determines whether or not you may be resistant to aspirins effect. The benefit that these people get from taking aspirin is in fact questionable and is being studied.
I appreciate the spirit in which you raised this issue. We'll just have to wait and see. Agree that the measured platelet effects from aspirin are real and variable; only question is whether those effects translate to actual clinical response.

BTW, my comment about the test manufacturer supplying the data was aimed at that industry; it is common to see 10 good studies in the literature with conflicting results, and the manufacturer chooses those which are most favorable to their product: intentional selection bias, so to speak. Always raises a yellow flag for me, so I go right to the source, the original articles.

The holy graal is good outcome studies (that is, studies that cut right to the chase and look at how patients actually do, compared to tracking changes in a biochemical marker. Someone will do one comparing a "treat everyone" group to a "test and treat if not resistant to asprin" group, blinded, controlled, plus a placebo arm, all matched up for known cardiovascular risk. Glad I don't have to pick up the tab on that monster.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #18
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delayed response. just noticed thread. surprised this benefit wasn't mentioned.

i've been taking a daily dose of bayer low dose (81 mg) ever since i read a few studies on asprin & dementia prevention. what i read indicated that it works if you start the regimen before dementia sets in. hope i'm not too late. here's just one circa 2003 report i quickly googled:

Health Minute: Daily Asprin

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"The benefits of aspirin go beyond the cardiovascular system. There is solid evidence that aspirin slows the progression of colon cancer, and some preliminary data suggests that regular aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all," says Fendrick. "Also population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease," he continues.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:02 PM   #19
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delayed response. just noticed thread. surprised this benefit wasn't mentioned.

i've been taking a daily dose of bayer low dose (81 mg) ever since i read a few studies on asprin & dementia prevention. what i read indicated that it works if you start the regimen before dementia sets in. hope i'm not too late. here's just one circa 2003 report i quickly googled:

Health Minute: Daily Asprin
I don't think that evidence is very robust. Aspirin was also supposed to prevent colon cancer, but didn't pan out. These are hard studies to perform. Wouldn't it be nice, though?
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:05 PM   #20
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ya, got that. i heard the theory goes that what's good for the heart is good for the brain. anyway, it's such a small pill to swallow and i like to think i'm doing whatever i can to stave off the disease that took mom. if worse comes to worse, the only damage i'll be doing is helping my heart keep me alive throughout the ravages of dementia. oh well, can't win'm all.
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