Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aspirin and you - reasons to take that lowly pill

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning, the old joke goes.

Now, we're told, aspirin just after a mini-stroke (also known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA). It might keep you out of trouble. Read about how an immediate aspirin after mini-stroke cuts risk of major stroke:
"A great many people who have (mini-strokes or TIAs) don’t seek medical attention, and don’t feel that it’s an emergency," said lead author Peter Rothwell of the Stroke Prevention Research Unit in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in the U.K.
But seeking medical attention is incredibly useful, he said.
Previous studies found that the risk of major stroke in the days after mini-stroke is greatly reduced with an intensive drug cocktail, but it was not clear if the benefit came from aspirin or other drugs, Rothwell told Reuters Health by phone.
The researchers analyzed data pooled from more than 15,000 participants in 12 trials comparing aspirin to no aspirin treatment after mini-stroke. Taking aspirin reduced the risk of a recurrent stroke in the following six weeks by about 60 percent and the risk of disabling or fatal stroke was reduced even further, regardless of dose or patient age, they reported in The Lancet.
So take to heart the need for medical attention - immediate medical attention - even if the symptoms (and click here to read about symptoms) go away. You might be in the clear that moment, but that treatment might well make you dodge a major stroke.

(Photo from Mike Steele via Flickr)

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