Our weekly news column bringing the most current, non-biased health
information to the consumer.
May 25, 2010
A Publication of QVHD
An Aspirin a Day?
By: V. Deborah Culligan, RN, MPH,
Deputy Director QVHD
Remember the saying an
apple a day keeps the doctor away? The new saying for the 21st century
might be an aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away. But the aspirin
a day is not quite as simple as the apple a day. Eating an apple every
day is not likely to cause you any harm. But an aspirin a day without
the consultation of your healthcare provider can lead to some serious
Aspirin has been around for over one hundred years. It is an excellent
pain reliever and fever reducer, although it can be very hard on the
stomach and gastrointestinal system. (It should never be given to
children or adolescents as it may cause a serious condition known as
Reye Syndrome.) Now it seems aspirin may have a new use in preventing
heart attacks and some kinds of strokes.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) wants you to know four facts
about taking aspirin for the purpose of reducing your risk of heart
attack and stroke.
Fact One: Daily use of aspirin is not for everyone. There may be
a benefit for you if you have some kind of heart or blood vessel disease
or if you have evidence of poor blood flow to the brain. But the risks
of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are
no signs of or risk factors for heart or blood vessel disease. You need
to work with your health care provider to assess if daily aspirin use is
right for you.
Fact Two: Daily aspirin can be safest when prescribed by a
medical health professional. There are a number of factors that need to
be considered before beginning a daily aspirin regime. If you are using
aspirin without having discussed the use with your health care provider,
you may be putting your health at risk.
Fact Three: Aspirin is a drug. Just because you can buy it
without a prescription, does not mean that is not a drug. As with any
drug, aspirin can have side effects. It can also mix badly with other
medicines and dietary supplements.
Fact Four: Once your doctor decides that daily use of aspirin is
right for you, safe use depends upon following your doctor's directions.
For written information on this topic, district residents can call QVHD,
203 248-4528 or request on line,
|An Ounce of Prevention is a
publication of the Quinnipiack Valley Health District, located at
1151 Hartford Turnpike, North Haven, CT 06473. Telephone:
248-4528. An Ounce of Prevention is
written by V. Deborah Culligan. The articles are published in the following local newspapers, The Advisor &
The content is provided as health education and
information to help you make health decisions. It is not intended to
be legal or medical advice, or substitute for recommendations made
by your health care provider. Address all comments to the district