The battle against daily aspirin is one worth fighting
By now, you know how to pick your battles.
At some point as we get older, we realize that not everything is worth fighting about. Sometimes, you've got to just bite the bullet.
And that means if you're tired of getting lectured every time you go to the doctor, you might find yourself finally caving in and doing what you're told.
Avoiding a little conflict is usually not a bad thing -- but when it comes to the decision of whether or not to take a daily aspirin as a preventative measure, it's time to stand up for yourself and not get steamrolled.
Because whatever meager benefit you might get from that aspirin... however long it might extend your life... won't be worth the misery it can cause in the meantime.
Over the last few months, I've seen headlines like "Not enough Americans over 50 taking daily aspirin" or "Study shows aspirin extends life" splashed all over the news.
But what you need to know is that the study that gave rise to these headlines showed that daily aspirin extends older folks' life expectancy, on average, BY ONLY FOUR MONTHS.
Talk about getting the short end of the stick!
Because for those extra few months, you significantly increase your risk of a dangerous bleed in your stomach or your brain.
Sure, taking a blood thinning med like aspirin every day could reduce your risk of the type of stroke that's caused by blood clot... but all the while, it's INCREASING your risk of the type of stroke caused by brain bleeding.
Why sacrifice one body part for another?
Even if aspirin truly did protect your heart from heart disease -- and help you live longer -- what else is it ravaging? And how miserable will you be in that extra time?
The researchers behind the study say that by 2036, an estimated 900,000 more Americans would be alive thanks to everyone age 51 or older taking aspirin. But if you ask me, they're just playing a numbers game. There's no real way to project a future statistic like that.
But what IS reliable science is what has already happened in studies that are conducted in the "gold standard" of double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized human trials.
And you know what HAS passed that test for heart disease and even chronic heart failure -- without the risk of bleeding?
It's something I shared with you just this morning: omega-3 fatty acids.
So, don't let your doctor prescribe a one-size-fits-all treatment to you, even if it's purely preventative, just because you've hit a certain age. Every patient is different, and I can't think of one thing that I would tell every single person age 51 and up to do.
Except, maybe, eat more fatty fish full of EPA and DHA like wild-caught salmon.
The Long-Term Benefits of Increased Aspirin Use by At-Risk Americans Aged 50 and Older
An aspirin a day extends life, prevents heart attacks for certain older Americans, USC study finds