Acetylsalicylic Acid (Also known as Apirin) and Strokes

Research Showing The True Facts About the Use of Anticoagulants

Researchers have found that taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) daily does not prevent stroke, but it does reduce the risk of myocardial infarction by 26 percent.

The findings in many studies are that ASA may not prevent strokes. When the patient with myocardial infarction takes the baby aspirin of 75 mg, the risks are reduced. Using the same dose does not reduce the risk in stroke patients without vascular disease. Many doctors are prescribing ASA to many patients promising the prevention of strokes without any evidence that it does. ASA taken on a daily basis has been in the past a well-known way to reduce heart attacks and strokes, but the new research has refuted this claim.


No "One-Size-Fits-All" Remedy

There is no longer a "one-size-fits-all" remedy for strokes and heart disease. It is further stated that ASA does not protect the brain from strokes.

"We noticed that a lot of people who have strokes or heart attacks are taking daily ASA. So we decided to look at why ASA failed to protect them," says Mark Alberts, MD, director of the stroke program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

When Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago conducted a test on 126 people taking ASA in different quantities, they only found 44 percent of those taking the baby ASA dose to have adequate blood thinning, which is what the ASA is supposed to do.


Study Findings on Coated ASA

The findings on coated ASA were specifically alarming. Previously, it was thought that coated ASA protected the stomach and was the ultimate choice of all ASAs. But the findings indicated that in 65 percent of the patients using coated ASA, the ASA had no blood thinning effects at all.


More Testing on ASA

A trial was conducted by Archives of Neurology and tested 52,251 patients with an average age of 57 years. They followed these patients for 4.6 years and they were high risk patients; there were two more trials with healthy male physicians. The ASA dosage was 75 mg-650mg and the findings indicated that the prevention of stroke was not aided, although there was a reduction of myocardial infarction by 26 percent.

So why are so many doctors prescribing ASA to patients? The patients are feeling secure that they will be protected, yet it looks like the only people being protected are the makers of ASA as they line their pocketbooks. Another trial was done on low risk patients and after regular use of ASA, the intracranial hemorrhage increased by 35 percent, causing an increased negativity in the study. With regular use of ASA, there was an average of 50 percent in major extracranial bleeding.

The researchers stated the benefits of ASA in healthy adults to prevent strokes is insufficient to warrant regular use. The overall consensus was that taking ASA did not prevent stroke but it did prevent a percentage of heart attacks.


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