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Should You Take Daily Aspirin Therapy?

Daily aspirin therapy can be a life saving option.

But it's not for everyone.

It's important to get the facts before considering

that daily aspirin.

UVA's Dr. Brandy Patterson explains in this week's

Straight Talk M.D.

Hi, and welcome to Straight Talk M.D.

I'm here today with Dr. Brandy Patterson, a cardiologist

at UVA Heart & Vascular Center.

Now many older adults take an aspirin to decrease their risk

for heart attack and stroke.

But a recent study reveals that a daily aspirin therapy may not

be recommended for everyone.

That's right, Casey.

Just recently, the results of the ESPRIT trial

were released and showed that daily aspirin therapy may

actually be more detrimental than beneficial

in some healthy people.

So just because your spouse or your friends

are taking an aspirin doesn't mean

that you should start as well.

It's very important you talk to your doctor first.

Yeah.

What are some of the current recommendations

for daily aspirin therapy?

Well, daily aspirin therapy is really the most beneficial

for those patients who have already

had a cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke.

In these instances, aspirin therapy

is known as secondary prevention and can help reduce your risk

for second occurrence.

But if you are a healthy adult who has never had a heart

event, aspirin therapy may increase your risk

of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Weighing the benefits versus the risk here,

aspirin therapy may not be the best option.

Yeah.

And I know a lot of us have heard

if you think you might be having a heart attack,

you should chew an aspirin immediately.

Is that true?

Again, it depends on the person.

So your first move should always be

to call 9-1-1 if you think you're having

a stroke or a heart attack.

The EMS provider will then walk you through your next steps.

If you have no allergies or no risk factors for complications

of aspirin therapy, then chewing an aspirin

can definitely help prevent the formation of blood clots

and limit the size of a heart attack or stroke.

OK.

So it sounds like the main takeaway from this

is really just talk to your doctor.

Yeah.

That really is the main point.

Yeah, see what's right for you and what's not.

Absolutely.

All right.

Well, thank you so much.

Thank you for watching.

Thank you.