Harvard Heart Letter

Low-dose aspirin for people with heart disease

If you have heart disease, national guidelines recommend that you take a low-dose (81-mg) aspirin every day. It's an inexpensive and effective way to lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. According to a report in the July 17 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, about seven in 10 adults with heart disease follow this advice.

The study relied on telephone surveys done by the CDC about health behaviors. It included data from more than 17,900 adults from 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Nearly 94% of people with heart disease who regularly take low-dose aspirin reported that they do so to prevent a heart attack, although many also cited stroke prevention as a reason. Men, people ages 65 and older, whites, and those with at least two heart risk factors were more likely to use aspirin than those in other groups.

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