The benefits of aspirin use in patients with known cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. A 2015 meta-analysis reviewed data gathered from 118,445 individuals from 11 trials. In these trials, low-dose aspirin was administered as a daily anticoagulant for primary CVD prevention. That is to say that low-dose aspirin prescription was intended in these trials to prevent cardiovascular events before they occurred.
Researchers found that aspirin reduced the risk of myocardial infarction by 22% and of death by 6%. These results sound encouraging, but a more in-depth look at the data will reveal the reduction in risk comes at a cost. Despite the benefits, aspirin therapy came with a 59% increase in gastrointestinal tract bleeding and a 33% increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke. This risks associated with aspirin therapy back the question, is it worth it?
In the above video Dr. Stevenson, the chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic discusses some of the risks and for whom that risk is elevated.
Source: Cleveland Clinic