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“Aspirin May Be Contraindicated”

For years we were assured that daily aspirin therapy was a way to help prevent cancer and heart disease and protect overall health.  But we are now being cautioned against taking daily aspirin without the recommendation of a doctor.  So, what are the so-called current facts on this confusing matter?  As of 2016, recommendations were for older Americans with a high risk of heart disease, to take low–dose aspirin every day to reduce their risk of a heart attack, prevent some cancers and cancer death, extend their lives and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients over the course of 20 years.  Yet, by 2017 the FDA had concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called “primary prevention.”   Care is needed when using aspirin with other blood thinners, such as warfarin, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixiban (Eliquis).  While doctors used to support daily consumption of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke, three major clinical trials in early 2018 found the risks of the drug outweighed any benefits in people who did not already have heart disease.

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