Women and Heart Health

What are your thoughts with regards to taking a baby aspirin? If recommended how often and for what reason?

The answer to this depends on your individual situation. Everyone who has had a heart attack or stroke should take low-dose (baby) Aspirin for life because it can reduce the risk of deadly recurrence by up to 25 per cent. But in regards to women and heart health, those who have no history of cardiovascular disease should not routinely take Aspirin as a preventive tool because there is no evidence the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks.

Many doctors routinely tell their patients to start taking a baby Aspirin daily at age 50 to avoid heart problems. It is also a common recommendation for post-menopausal women and diabetics. However, according to the most recent guidelines by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society there is no good evidence that this is beneficial. And there is clear evidence that regular use of aspirin can cause serious stomach problems such as bleeding.

Also, if you do take Aspirin, avoid taking other analgesics or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, because they interfere with Aspirin’s ability to prevent clotting.

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