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Low Dosage Aspirin: Does Taking One Daily Help Anything?

Since someone, either in my office or by e-mail, asks me this question at least once a week, this might be a good opportunity to put the matter to rest.

Or maybe not.

Physicians, especially cardiologists, have been recommending daily aspirin to their patients for decades. The theory rested on the phenomenon that aspirin ever so slightly interfered with blood clot formation, and that small blood clots were responsible for heart attacks and strokes. You didn’t need to take much: a low-dose aspirin (81 mg–formerly called baby aspirin) would do just fine.

But then some studies started to appear that concluded the daily aspirin idea was pretty lame. When data from five very large studies was published, comparing aspirin users with non-users, nothing dramatic emerged and the general recommendation from doctors shifted to “Take it if you want to. It might help, might not.”

However, an article in the March 26, 2007, Archives of Internal Medicine might blow all the previous studies out of the water. The Nurses’ Health Study has been tracking almost 80,000 women since 1980 on a variety of health and lifestyle issues. Now, 27 years later, the statisticians reported some very explicit results.

If women take low-dose or moderate-dose aspirin (ranging from a daily 81-mg aspirin up to as high as 14 tablets per week), there is a significantly lower risk of death from all cause mortality, particularly among older women and those with risk factors for heart disease. Also, starting aspirin when you’re young enhances the benefits, especially the cancer prevention ones.

“All cause mortality” is just what it sounds like. Aspirin users have fewer fatal heart attacks, fewer strokes, and fewer of the three commonest cancers (heart, lung, and colon).

Will this report end the argument? No. The authors of the previous papers will find flaws in this study and will likely be arguing about it for decades.

I find this report compelling. The risk-reward ratio, asking “how safe?” versus “what’s the benefit?” leans very heavily in favor of one low-dose aspirin daily.

So that’s my answer.


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Finding Unity – Movement & Meditation

Sunday, February 5th
12:00pm to 2:00pm; $40 Registration Fee

Our world is in a constant state of flux and uncertainty. This can cause occasional turmoil in our lives when the fluctuation feels overwhelming. At these moments it is important to pause and reconnect to our true nature, which is to feel safe, content, and whole.  More>>

 

Facial Guasha Class

The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself!

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Your skin will thank you and will look more radiant, smooth and younger!

When: Monday, March 20th, 7-8:30
Where: WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue
Cost: $50 includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700.

Mari Stecker has practiced acupuncture at WholeHealth Chicago for over 20 years. She offers acupuncture facial rejuvenation as well as treatments for many dermatological conditions including acne, psoriasis and eczema. She also treats a full range of conditions including pain, fertility and allergies.
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