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Wednesday, April 01, 2009 9:00 AM

Radiocast: Aspirin Every Day - Is it Right for You?

Debra: This is Healthcare 411: Information for better health. Should you take aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends talking with your doctor first. Task Force member Dr. Michael LeFevre explains:

Dr. LeFevre: Patients need to discuss several risk factors with their clinicians, including their age, gender, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and if they have diabetes, smoke, or have a risk of stomach bleeding.

Debra: Why are risk factors so important?

Dr. LeFevre: It’s about weighing the benefits with the potential harms. On one hand, there’s good evidence that aspirin decreases first heart attacks in men and first strokes in women. However, aspirin may also carry the risk of stomach bleeding for some people with certain risk factors. And recent research shows aspirin may have different benefits and harms for men and women. That’s why we recommend all patients talk with their clinicians about what’s right for them.

Debra: Healthcare 411 is produced by AHRQ, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Debra James for Healthcare 411.


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