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Aspirin Benefits vs Risks

A British meta-analysis of aspirin users suggests that this common preventive medicine may carry significant risks along with modest benefit. Investigators analyzed nine randomized, placebo-controlled studies that included more than 100,000 healthy volunteers. Although those taking aspirin were 20 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, they were 30 percent more likely to experience a bleeding ulcer. Men who are at high risk for a second heart attack get significant benefit from taking aspirin, but researchers are beginning to question the trade off between heart protection and gastrointestinal hemorrhage for otherwise healthy people. People should only be taking daily aspirin under medical supervision.

[Archives of Internal Medicine, online, Jan. 9, 2012]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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