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Low-Dose Aspirin for Heart Health

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Q: What is the latest information about taking daily baby aspirin to help the heart? I stopped taking it when I got blotches on my arms from bleeding under the skin.

A: Aspirin inhibits blood clotting by reducing the “stickiness” of platelets. This helps lower the incidence of stroke and heart attacks, but may increase the risk of bleeding. In general, people at low risk of having a heart attack or stroke shouldn’t take daily aspirin because the chance of bleeding outweighs any potential benefit. In contrast, low-dose aspirin therapy is beneficial for those who carry an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, including people with the irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

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