Can aspirin help prevent heart attacks?
(WJLA) - John Curley says he needs to stray strong in order to keep up with his job as a contractor. Following doctor’s orders, he has been taking a baby aspirin a day for nearly a decade in hopes of keeping his heart healthy:
“I'm on it and I'm gonna stay on it until the end...I know a lot of people with heart problems and they've been on the aspirin and they haven't had a heart attack."
That has been the conventional wisdom, and aspirin maker Bayer even wanted government approval to put a message on its bottles saying aspirin prevents heart attacks. But the FDA studied the issue, and concluded that a daily aspirin regimen actually does little to prevent a first heart attack.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center Dr. Reginald Robinson has followed the protocol and recommended low-dose aspirin to his patients who are at high risk of a heart attack – but he says that he isn’t surprised by the FDA’s findings, and adds that the risks do outweigh the benefits:
“Aspirin, even though it's been around for decades, still holds the risk of causing bleeding -- whether it's in the brain or the digestive system."
Ron Stancheck has been following doctor’s orders for years, taking a baby aspirin a day in the hopes of warding off a heart attack. He believes that it has worked, and has no plans to change anything he’s doing: