New tests can tell if the aspirin you take is working to prevent heart disease

BOSTON , MA . - Millions of Americans take aspirin to help prevent a heart attack or stroke. But many of them have what experts call "aspirin nonresponsiveness," and get little or no protection from aspirin. Although researchers continue to study this new problem and argue about its implications, the May issue of the Harvard Heart Letter advises that it's not too early to talk with your doctor about being tested to find out if you respond to aspirin. Aspirin makes small pieces of blood cells less "sticky" and so less likely to clump and form blood clots that can block a blood vessel in the heart or brain. But ongoing research shows that The idea that aspirin doesn't work for some people is so new that many doctors either aren't aware of the phenomenon or are waiting for more research before testing their patients for aspirin nonresponsiveness. Patients often must take the initiative.
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