- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Although daily, low-dose aspirin can help prevent heart attacks, this widely used drug comes with a downside: an increased risk of bleeding. This ranges from minor problems (such as noticeable bruising) to more serious but rare complications, such as bleeding in the brain.
New research now finds older people who take low-dose aspirin every day are more likely to develop anemia, a condition marked by a reduced amount of red blood cells. The findings are yet another reminder to be cautious about daily aspirin use. Although around half of older adults say they take low-dose aspirin, current guidelines recommend this practice only for people who have coronary artery disease or another vascular disease and for those who are under 70 and at high risk of a heart attack. (For more details, see "Advice about daily aspirin" in the July 2021 Heart Letter.)
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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