Aspirin: Who needs it and should healthy individuals take it preventively?



Aspirin: Who needs it and should healthy individuals take it preventively?
For individuals who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, aspirin is an integral part of their treatment due to its anticoagulant effect, which helps prevent the formation of blood clots. Blood clots are one of the most common causes of heart attacks and strokes. While the formation of blood clots is a normal occurrence in the body as it prevents excessive blood loss from internal or external bleeding, in patients with damaged blood vessels due to destabilization of atherosclerotic plaque, clot formation can have fatal consequences.


When blood vessels are injured, the body’s response is to create blood clots at the site of damage. If a clot forms in narrowed blood vessels due to the buildup of cholesterol, fats, and calcium on their walls, it leads to blockage of blood flow, resulting in tissue death due to restricted oxygen supply. Thrombus formation in an artery can cause a heart attack or stroke, as well as conditions like leg gangrene and blindness if the blood vessels in the eye become blocked.


Anticoagulant therapy prevents the formation of blood clots by thinning the blood. This type of treatment affects the ability of platelets to form clots by binding together in damaged blood vessels. However, the use of these medications carries the risk of bleeding, which in some cases can have fatal outcomes. Aspirin therapy should be strictly monitored by a doctor, and taking this medication preventively is not recommended, as the potential benefit does not outweigh the potential risk.

What risks does taking Aspirin expose us to?

It is well known that aspirin is often taken for pain relief, such as headaches or muscle inflammation, reducing fever, and decreasing inflammation. However, frequent or daily therapy with this medication is not recommended for everyone and depends on a person’s age, overall health condition, history of cardiovascular diseases, and the risk of heart attack or stroke.


Taking aspirin without prior consultation with a doctor and self-medication with this medication can cause complications since, like any other medication, aspirin has certain contraindications. Preventive use of aspirin without clear medical reasons is also not recommended, nor is abruptly stopping the medication in individuals who have been taking it continuously in lower doses.


Aspirin can cause irritation of the stomach mucosa, digestive disturbances, as well as damage to the integrity of the gastric mucosa and gastrointestinal bleeding. Therefore, patients who already have diagnosed stomach and intestinal diseases, such as stomach ulcers or gastritis, should be especially cautious. The preventive use of aspirin is not advised for patients with severe liver disease or kidney failure.

Aspirin and blood thinning


Considering the blood-thinning effects of aspirin, this medication can have negative consequences in individuals at higher risk of bleeding, particularly those with coagulation problems. Women are considered to be particularly cautious when taking aspirin. Research has shown that in women without a history of cardiovascular disease, taking this medication increased the risk of bleeding, while the risk of heart attack was not reduced.


Another complication that can arise from taking this medication is a stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel. Although taking this therapy on a daily basis can help prevent stroke associated with the formation of blood clots, it can also increase the risk of intracranial hemorrhage, or hemorrhagic stroke.


Therefore, it cannot be claimed that taking this medication is justified in healthy individuals or those with a low risk of heart disease. The higher the risk of a heart attack, the greater the likelihood that taking this medication justifies the risks of unwanted bleeding. According to some guidelines, people aged 60 and older, without known heart or vascular disease, should not start taking Aspirin on a daily basis to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.

When should Aspirin be taken?

Aspirin should definitely be taken by patients diagnosed with certain cardiovascular diseases or those who have experienced a heart attack or stroke. This medication reduces the likelihood of fatty deposits accumulating in the blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of artery narrowing.


Daily intake of this medication in low doses is recommended for primary prevention of heart attack or stroke in individuals aged between 40 and 59 who are at significant risk of experiencing their first heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years.


Moreover, taking aspirin is justified for patients who have not had a heart attack but have undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery or have a coronary stent placed. Patients who experience chest pain due to coronary artery disease or any other health condition for which Aspirin has been proven to prevent heart attack or stroke should take this medication.


Taking Aspirin is also advised for patients under the age of 60 who have diabetes and at least one other risk factor for heart disease, such as smoking or high blood pressure.


During consultation with a doctor, patients should disclose any other conditions they may have, such as a history of stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. Taking this medication can cause additional bleeding, which can be life-threatening. If present, patients should also inform the doctor about any allergies to Aspirin, including aspirin-induced asthma, as any dose of this medication can trigger serious allergic reactions.

Take care of your heart’s health at Pulse Cardiology Center

Self-treatment has been proven to have far more negative consequences for a patient’s health than benefits. This is the primary reason why a patient should never take any medication on their own but rather consult with a doctor to determine their specific health conditions and assess the benefits and risks of taking any medication.


If you have cardiovascular symptoms or a history of heart disease, at Pulse Cardiology Center located in Block A, New Belgrade, you can undergo a comprehensive heart diagnostic evaluation. Under the supervision of top experts and using state-of-the-art equipment, you will gain precise insights into the health of your heart and blood vessels. Schedule an appointment with us, and our outstanding cardiology specialists will welcome you in a pleasant environment, prescribing you the appropriate therapy to address your concerns and ensure that your heart receives the treatment it deserves.



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