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Aspirin Therapy can be Useful in Fight Against Heart Disease
AUGUSTA, GA (June 30, 2010) – You might be a lot bigger than a child now, but a common childhood drug has the potential to play a major role in your cardiovascular health.
“Aspirin is a very important drug and we use it primarily for risk reduction, but we also use it therapeutically for people who have had a surgical procedure – cardiac surgery, angioplasty and stents,” said Michael S. Holman, M.D., a cardiologist who practices at University Hospital.
The mechanics of the drug are simple. Aspirin inhibits platelets, an important cell in the blood stream that causes blood to clot. “You certainly don’t want the blood to clot in the vascular system because it can cause problems,” Dr. Holman said. “Aspirin really just lubricates the blood and makes it flow more smoothly.”
Low-dose aspirin has frequently been recommended as an effective therapy for those with cardiovascular problems, but even with its beneficial properties, physicians say there are many factors to take into consideration before taking the drug.
People who have bleeding problems should most likely not be on aspirin therapy, but Dr. Holman cautioned that a patient needs to weigh the risks against the potential benefits of the therapy.
“If a patient has problems with gastrointestinal bleeding or has had a recent stroke with very high, uncontrolled blood pressure, then you have to balance the risk of giving aspirin to the patient versus the benefit that patient might be able to get from the therapy,” he said.
Speak with your physician if you have questions about aspirin therapy.