An Aspirin a Day May Be Too Much: Docs

Side effects may outweigh benefits for some
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2010 12:29 PM CST
An Aspirin a Day May Be Too Much: Docs
Packages of aspirin come of an assembly line.   (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz)

The blanket advice that middle-aged people should take low-dose aspirin every day to ward off a heart attack or stroke is too broad, warn medical experts. For those who have a history of heart disease or have already suffered an ischemic stroke, the advice is sound. But for others in good health, the latest guidelines say doctors and patients must give more weight to the risk of side effects, such as bleeding ulcers.

"We would like doctors to re-look at their patients who are on aspirin and consider recommending stopping it where the chance of harm outweighs the benefit," the chairman of a federal task force tells the Wall Street Journal. "Not everyone needs to take aspirin," adds another expert who's working with the National Institutes of Health. (More aspirin stories.)

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