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Aspirin misuse may cause more harm than good, according to a new research study published this week by the Journal of American College of Cardiology.  Can Aspirin Cause a Heart Attack?

Although aspirin can be a supplement used to help prevent stroke and heart attack, this new study reveals that one in 10 people do not need to take the over-the-counter drug as their risk of developing heart disease was too low to require any need for a daily aspirin regimen. "People have a tendency to think that aspirin is a benign drug, which it is not," said Dr. Daniel Simon, chief of cardiovascular medicine at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

If you think you should be reaching for a daily dose of aspirin, check to see if you have more than a 6 percent risk of developing heart disease over the next 10 years. If not, then you could be using the drug "inappropriately" according to this study. 

Not sure what your risk percentage is? You can use online tools such as the Framingham Risk Score to determine or ask your doctors. 

Aspirin essentially works by preventing platelets to stick together when a clot occurs. A blood clot prevents oxygenated blood to get through the  body to keep it alive. The blood clot that happens in the heart or brain can be fatal. A blood clot that happens in the body may break loose and move to the head or brain and become fatal as well. This is why when someone believes they are having a heart attack, taking one aspirin or two baby aspirin could save their life. 

The current study was conducted on 68,808 patients in the U.S, who were under treatment by cardiologists. The team of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine studied the medical records of patients who were being observed under the American College of Cardiology's PINNACLE registry.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology study did not include people who had previously had a heart attack, stroke or any other medical issue that would require aspirin to prevent a second cardiovascular issue. 

Also, researchers noted that the study could have underestimated inappropriate aspirin use as participants self-reported their use and the drug is available without a prescription. The study shows that women and younger persons are more likely to misuse aspirin as compared to seniors and men. 

Overall,if you are not sure whether or not you should be taking aspirin for cardiovascular issues or otherwise, check in with your doctor.

If you have any health or fitness related questions, please feel free to reach out on Facebook or email me directly at andrea@womensforum.com.

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