July 20, 2011

Heart Disease Patients Should Keep Taking Aspirin

A new study has found that if heart disease patients stop taking aspirin it could raise their heart attack risk, reports BBC News.

Researchers said that users stop taking aspirin against medical advice, which puts them at a 60 percent greater risk of a non-fatal heart attack.

The findings come from a U.K. database of about 40,000 patients who had been prescribed the drug by their doctor.

For the 1,000 patients that took part in the study, there were about four extra cases of non-fatal heart attack among patients who recently stopped taking low-dose aspirin compared with those who stayed on it.

Low-dose aspirin is recommended for heart disease patients in order to help prevent blood clots.

Ellen Mason, of the British Heart Foundation, said in a statement to BBC: "This research is yet another reminder of how effective a little daily pill of aspirin can be at preventing someone from having another heart attack. So it's very concerning how many people with heart disease are not taking their aspirin.

"This very cheap, but valuable, golden oldie is one of the best researched drugs we have in our arsenal to stop further heart attacks. The benefits certainly outweigh any risks for most people.

"If you've had a heart attack then stopping taking your aspirin increases your risk of having another heart attack and this can result in permanent damage to your heart. Don't simply stop taking your meds, always talk to your doctor first."

The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.


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