It is commonly recommended that those at risk from heart disease should take a daily dose of aspirin.
Interestingly this works more effectively for men than women.
Statistics show that the latter are more likely to avoid having a stroke than a heart attack.
There is a recognized risk for aspirin takers from gastric bleeding in particular if a patient is also prescribed Plavix, which is a medicine that dissolves clots.
A new task force set up in the US to tackle preventative services recommend that all factors are taken into consideration.
Studies show that the ‘one aspirin a day’ philosophy is a world wide practice, over a third of American citizens do just that. Although research shows that it’s wide spread use is not actually backed up by any hard evidence.
In fact, Dr Michael LeFevre and his team are hoping to encourage people to take a much smaller dose in future.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s recently published recommendations state that men aged between 45 and 80 should only take aspirin if the risk from heart attack is greater than that from bleeding. Men outside this age range, besides those who have suffered an attack, should not take it at all.
For women the chance of their first ischemic stroke, for those between 55 and 79, must be higher than that of bleeding. Whatever the gender, people who are not in danger from a heart attack do not need aspirin other than for headaches.
As professionals gather more information on this matter it is worth noting that since the task force last reported in 2002 any guidelines could not be specific between male or female, proving that great progress is being made.