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Aspirin may increase bleeding risk, even in low doses

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Many patients who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests are advised to take aspirin. This treatment works by thinning the blood, thereby lowering the risk of a blockage in the arteries that result in a heart attack or stroke. However, new research suggests that even low doses of the medication may result in gastrointestinal bleeding.

In larger doses, aspirin is known to increase an individual's risk of bleeding. However, low doses of the medication are now an important part of treatments for individuals with high cholesterol. Researchers reported in the journal Gastroenterology and Hepatology that certain patients may be prone to bleeding, even on low doses.

After reviewing the findings of several previously published clinical investigations, the team found that most individuals have a limited likelihood of experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding while on the medication, regardless of dose. The risk was particularly high among those who are also taking anticoagulant medications.

"The use of aspirin has been proven beneficial in reducing cardiac events and deaths in patients who have cardiovascular disease, and has even been shown to reduce cancer risk," said lead author Dr. Angel Lanas. "However, clinicians need to be more proactive in their efforts to reduce potential risk factors associated with all doses."

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