Aspirin: A loaded gun for your heart

by Tom

For or against Aspirin as a preventative measure?

For or against Aspirin as a preventative measure?

Aspirin: A loaded gun for your heart

The drug companies want you to think of aspirin as a magic bullet for your heart. Oh, it’s a bullet all right — and it’s definitely aimed at your ticker.

One of the most irritatingly persistent myths in modern medicine is the downright insane notion that daily aspirin can help your heart. So I can’t tell you how it lifts my own heart to see this one finally crumbling.

Even the Wall Street Journal is giving aspirin therapy the kiss of death. A recent story with the headline “The Danger of Daily Aspirin” began with this sentence: “If you’re taking a daily aspirin for your heart, you may want to reconsider.”

Forget “may” — definitely reconsider, because this was a bad idea the moment Big Pharma’s marketing department dreamed it up.

One new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no benefit at all in giving aspirin to people at high risk of heart disease. My favorite part: It was funded in part by Bayer.

Must’ve been awkward when it came time to deliver the results. I’ll bet they’re looking for a refund… and a few researchers’ heads.

But the truth’s the truth… and the truth is, aspirin can cause bleeding in the stomach and brain. And that’s not the only way this
supposed painkiller can kill you… because aspirin can actually cause potentially deadly blood clots.

Yet despite aspirin’s obvious dangers, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial that talks up aspirin therapy for heart patients. An actress in one commercial claims, “My doctor says it’s the easiest preventive measure you can take.”

Easy — yes. Safe — heck no! Sounds like you need a new doctor, lady… one who’s been reading the medical journals instead of watching aspirin commercials.

Here’s one fact you won’t hear in those ads: Roughly half of all people who suffer a fatal heart attack took an aspirin that day. I wonder what their final thoughts were. I bet more than a few clutched their chest and cried out, “But… I took an aspirin today!”

Bottom line: Don’t gobble down daily aspirin unless you’ve got a death wish. And if you really hate life, add an ibuprofen to the mix — patients who take that and aspirin together have double the risk of fatal heart attack.

These are powerful drugs, not candy… even if many people munch on them like Skittles. If you really want to pop a pill for your heart, take a fish oil capsule instead.

Author is William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

Source is from Vince Tracy Blog - another one from 25 March 2010

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Jan 25, 2011
by: JOJO

This is really confusing - one report says Yeah another says NAY!

Jan 05, 2011
Is that right? Aspirin reduces cancer risk?
by: By Jennifer LaRue Huget

Is that right? Aspirin reduces cancer risk?
By Jennifer LaRue Huget

You may have read earlier this week about a British study regarding aspirin and cancer.

What you gathered from that research probably depends on which news account you read.

I looked at a sampling of headlines I just gathered via a Google search of "aspirin cancer." The reports vary - do a search using google and you will see what i mean.

Hmmm. Did aspirin reduce the risk of getting cancer, or the likelihood of dying of cancer?

Was the effect dramatic? Steep? Or modest?

And should we all start a daily aspirin regimen ourselves?

The study, published online Dec. 6 in the British medical journal the Lancet, reviewed records for more than 25,000 people in eight clinical trials during which participants had taken aspirin -- or a placebo -- to treat or prevent cardiovascular disease.

The analysis revealed that for some cancers, taking a modest dose -- 75 milligrams, or roughly the equivalent of a U.S. baby aspirin, daily -- was associated with reduced likelihood of later dying from that cancer. The effect was stronger for some cancers (the 20-year esophageal cancer death risk was 60 percent lower for those taking aspirin than those on placebo; that number was 40 percent for colorectal cancer, 35 percent for gastrointestinal cancer and 30 percent for lung cancer) than for others (10 percent for prostate cancer).

The reductions in cancer-death risk increased the longer participants continued to take aspirin.

Too few women were included in the data set to determine whether those associations held equally for both genders, but it's likely that whatever the mechanism by which aspirin may alter cancer-death risk may be, it would apply equally to men and women. But the dearth of females meant that there weren't enough cases of breast and gynecological cancers to reveal whether the risk of death from either was mediated by aspirin use.

Taking aspirin does increase the risk of internal bleeding, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract and brain. But the study notes that the reduced cancer-death risk likely outweighs that relatively lower risk. Still, the authors conclude, more research is needed before it's officially recommended that people start taking aspirin solely to reduce their risk of dying from cancer. However, it's likely that people who take aspirin to improve their cardiovascular health may reap the added benefit of lower cancer-death risk.

This is definitely a talk-to-your-doctor situation. I plan to take this study to my primary care doc and have her help me decide whether a daily dose of baby aspirin makes sense for me. I'll let you know what she says.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget | Washington Post, December 10, 2010; 8:41 AM ET

Jan 05, 2011
by: Mary (Editor)

Report from BBC News - Cont/d

*We encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their GP first”
Ed Young
Cancer Research UK

Lead researcher Professor Peter Rothwell said the findings might well underestimate the reduction in deaths that would result from longer-term treatment with aspirin.

The risk of cancer death was reduced by 20% over 20 years. For individual cancers the reduction was about 40% for bowel cancer, 30% for lung cancer, 10% for prostate cancer and 60% for oesophageal cancer.

The reductions in pancreas, stomach and brain cancers were difficult to quantify because of smaller numbers of deaths.

There was also not enough data to show an effect on breast or ovarian cancer and the authors suggest this is because there were not enough women in the trials. Large-scale studies investigating the effects on these cancers are under way.

Professor Rothwell said he was not urging healthy middle-aged adults to immediately start taking aspirin, but said the evidence on cancer "tips things towards it being well worth it". The benefit in cancer reduction were found from a low daily dose of 75mg.

Professor Rothwell said the annual risk of major internal bleeding was about 1 in 1,000 and aspirin roughly doubled that risk. But he said the danger of major bleeding was "very low" in middle age but increased dramatically after 75.

“Aspirin should be thought of in the same context as lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise which can help to preserve health”

Professor Peter Elwood
Cardiff University

Aspirin: a personal choice for all
A sensible time to consider starting daily aspirin use would be between 45-50, continuing for around 25 years, he said.

Cancer Research UK described the results as "promising". But Ed Yong, head of health information and evidence, said: "We encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their GP first."

Professor Peter Elwood, an epidemiologist from Cardiff University, who carried out some of the first studies into the effects of aspirin on health, said individuals should make up their own minds:

"Aspirin should be thought of in the same context as lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise which can help to preserve health."

Professor Elwood said taking aspirin at night and with calcium seemed to enhance its effects. He suggested taking it with a glass of milk as this could also reduce stomach irritation.

BOTTOM LINE - My advice is to see your doctor and ask if taking a small dose every day would be helpful for you and, above all, without risk!!!!!! Mary

Jan 05, 2011
The On-going Debate on Aspirin
by: Mary (Editor)

Very interesting Tom,

I was just watching a report on the French television whch says that aspirin can reduce cancer by 50% in people with polyps in their colon which could lead to cancer The report suggests that a small dose each day can cut all cancers by 50 percent in people who have been taking it for five years. It also prevents strokes but should not be taken in auto-medication as doctors can better judge who it will help and balance the risks and the benefits. Some people are allergic to aspirin and those with stomach ulcers absolutely shouldn't take it.

Apparently there is a new British report out, I will do some research and post my findings.

By the way, Tom, do i know you? I know Vince Tracy and we have two mutual friends called Tom??? in Spain.

In any case, thanks for posting

REPORT BY BBC NEWS, December 7, 2010
PARt 1

Small daily aspirin dose 'cuts cancer risk'

By Fergus Walsh
Medical correspondent, BBC News

A small daily dose of aspirin - 75mg - substantially reduces death rates from a range of common cancers, a study suggests.

Research at Oxford University and other centres found that it cut overall cancer deaths by at least a fifth.

The study, published in the Lancet, covered some 25,000 patients, mostly from the UK.

Experts say the findings show aspirin's benefits often outweighed its associated risk of causing bleeding.

Aspirin is already known to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke among those at increased risk. But the protective effects against cardiovascular disease are thought to be small for healthy adults, and aspirin increases the risks of stomach and gut bleeds.

However, this latest research shows that when weighing up the risks and benefits of taking aspirin, experts should also consider its protective effect against cancer.

Those patients who were given aspirin had a 25% lower risk of death from cancer during the trial period and a 10% reduction in death from any cause compared to patients who were not given the drug.

Lasting protection

The treatment with aspirin lasted for between four and eight years, but long term-follow-up of around 12,500 patients showed the protective effect continued for 20 years in both men and women.

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