Friday, October 19, 2007

An Aspirin a Day May Not Keep the Doctor Away

A new study out of the University of British Columbia’s cardiovascular center is causing a bit of controversy. Seems they analyzed aspirin-as-heart-protection trials hints that those trials with a higher number of female participants were less likely to show that there was benefit to taking aspirin daily as a part of a preventative regime. In fact, those studies involving mainly women show a lesser benefit than studies involving mainly men – or no benefit whatsoever. The immediate question, of course, is why?

The researchers from the James Hogg iCapture Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research – and what a fabulous name is that for a center? – have suggested that perhaps women’s hearts and surrounding blood vessels are simply physiologically different, making the functional properties of aspirin (which prevent clots from forming) moot.

Of course, the critique has been coming fast and furious, with experts disagreeing on the report and findings, and cautioning against women who are taking an aspirin a day to keep the heart attack away from stopping.

But as anyone who’s taken aspirin continually knows, there are risks to it damaging the stomach lining and causing its own issues – and for that reason, if it’s not necessary or medically of benefit for women to take a daily aspirin, it’s certainly worth knowing! The research will undoubtedly continue, and be worth keeping an eye on.

-Kelly Hills
[cross-posted from the AJOBlog]

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