Dropping Daily Aspirin May Endanger Your Heart

Stopping daily aspirin therapy may increase risk of heart attack and stroke

(RxWiki News) Quitting your daily aspirin therapy may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a new study.

Many patients take low-dose aspirin every day to lower their risk of another heart attack or stroke. Aspirin thins the blood, which helps prevent clotting that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

But stopping your daily aspirin regimen could raise your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 37 percent, according to this Swedish study of more than 600,000 people between 2005 and 2009.

"Low-dose aspirin therapy is a simple and inexpensive treatment," said lead study author Dr. Johan Sundstrom, of Uppsala University, in a press release. "As long as there's no bleeding or any major surgery scheduled, our research shows the significant public health benefits that can be gained when patients stay on aspirin therapy."

Past research has suggested that cardiovascular risk may experience a "rebound effect" when patients stop taking daily aspirin. In the current study, this raised risk appeared shortly after patients quit aspirin and didn't appear to decrease as time passed.

These researchers noted that many heart attack survivors quit their daily aspirin therapy within a few years. Never stop or start taking a new medication without your health care provider's approval.

This study was published in the journal Circulation.

Uppsala University, the Uppsala County Council and AstraZeneca funded this research. Study authors disclosed ties to AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies.

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Review Date: 
September 30, 2017