According to researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, an aspirin a day cuts the risk of having a first heart attack for men but not for women.
After analyzing data from clinical trials that looked into aspirin’s ability to reduce the risk of people having a first heart attack, researchers found that aspirin helps everyone who has already had one heart attack, but different trials showed different results for men and women who had not yet had their first heart attack.
According to head researcher Dr. Don Sin, researchers found that studies that looked strictly at men found that aspirin helped, while studies that focused on women found no link between aspirin and reduced risk of first heart attack. According to an item that appeared on WebMD, Dr. Sin said that an aspirin a day appears to help men who have not had a heart attack reduce their risk by about 25%, and that there is no such preventative benefit for women who have no risk factors and who haven’t already had a heart attack.
However, men and women who have already had a heart attack should take an aspirin day.
There have been several studies that have found that people respond differently to aspirin and there is the belief that as much as 40% of the population is resistant to aspirin’s blood thinning affect. Among researchers, there is the belief that people respond differently to aspirin at different points in their lives.
Data also suggests that women enjoy a stroke-prevention benefit from aspirin that’s greater than the heart attack-prevention offered to men. As a result some doctors feel that regardless of a patient’s risk factors, the aspirin-a–day preventative regimen is worthwhile, especially if patients smoke, have high cholesterol or diabetes which contribute to heart disease.
The results of this study should serve as a reminder that there are no panaceas or simple cures for complex problems, and that before people embark on any regimen they should do some research and check with their physician.