The drug companies that make and market aspirin have tried hard to convince people that "an aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away."
But, another study has come along to blast a hole in that myth. According to British researchers, the daily aspirin regimen might actually do more harm than good.
Researchers at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London identified more than 5,000 U.K. males, between 45 and 69 years-old, who were at increased risk of coronary heart disease but had not previously had heart trouble.
The men had been randomly divided into four different treatment groups to accurately establish the effect of aspirin.
The men with higher blood pressure not only weren't protected by the aspirin, but they risked possible serious bleeding. Even in men with low blood pressure, the benefit did not necessarily outweigh the risk of bleeding.
In 1988, a research study found that some high risk men who took daily aspirin had fewer heart attacks -- but more strokes. Even the researchers never recommended the once-a-day aspirin regimen.
However, the pharmaceutical industry immediately began a massive press release campaign which distorted the research report. The press releases gave the impression that the daily aspirin was a sure-fire way to prevent heart attacks. The news was picked up by most newspapers and even medical doctors began "prescribing" aspirin as a preventative measure.
Thanks in part to this deceptive marketing campaign, Americans now take more than 25 million aspirin tablets every day, despite the fact that:
1,600 children die each year from allergic reactions to aspirin;
patients with blockage of arteries to the brain are three times more likely to have a stroke if they are taking aspirin;
dyspepsia and gastrointestinal hemorrhage occur in 31% of those taking 300 mgs. of aspirin per day;
even low doses of aspirin can increase the risk of brain hemorrhage; and
other side effects can include anemia, bleeding ulcers, confusion and dizziness and numerous other problems.
SOURCES: "Determination of who may derive most benefit from aspirin in primary prevention: subgroup results from a randomised controlled trial," British Medical Journal, July 1, 2000.
"FDA warns aspirin makers." Science News, March 12, 1988 v133 n11 p165(1).
"The preliminary report of the findings of the aspirin component of the ongoing Physicians' Health Study; the FDA perspective on aspirin for the primary prevention of myocardial infarction." Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) June 3, 1988 v259 n21 p3158(3).
"Don't jump the gun with aspirin; there are surer ways to help prevent (heart attacks), ones that don't increase stroke risk," Medical World News, May 23, 1988 v29 n10 p50(1).
"High-risk pain pills: though their use is regulated, many common pain remedies can be dangerous, particularly if combined with alcohol or other drugs," The Atlantic, Dec. 1989 v264 n6 p36(5).
What Aspirin Does.
Why doctors prescribe aspirin for heart attack prevention
..........Article #1 Does Aspirin Prevent Heart Attacks? Don't Believe It!
..........Article #2 Second Thoughts About An Aspirin a Day to Prevent Heart Attacks
..........Article #3 The Blinding Truth About an Aspirin a Day
..........Article #4 Aspirin and False Advertising
..........Article #5 Bayer Bribery
..........Article #6 Bayer and War Crimes
..........Article #7 Aspirin Use May be Associated with Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
..........Article #8 ***** All NSAIDs May Be Linked to MI (Heart Attack) Risk ****
..........Article #9 The Dangers of Acetaminophen
Notes and Warnings
Alternatives to Aspirin