Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Questioning the necessity of aspirin

Q. My doctor recently advised me to start taking an 81-mg aspirin once a day. I am a physically active 62-year-old and have been a vegetarian — mostly vegan — for 35 years. My BMI is less than 24, my HDL is over 70, and my Framingham risk score is 8%. My only problems are systolic blood pressure in the 130s and an occasional episode of arrhythmia. I'd really rather not take aspirin. Am I being foolish in questioning my doctor's advice?

A. It's not foolish to question your doctor's advice. You need to understand the reasoning and the facts behind a doctor's advice, particularly when you wonder if the advice really applies to you. In this case, you think it doesn't — and judging by the information you've provided, I am inclined to agree with you.

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