Aspirin should not be used by healthy people looking to prevent a heart attack, experts have warned, as the risks – including internal bleeding – are greater than the benefits.
Millions of Britons are believed to take a dose of the medication every day in attempts to ward off the condition, after several studies concluded the using the drug could prevent patients suffering a second heart attack or stroke.
Earlier this year, British scientists found that regular aspirin use could be more harmful than beneficial among patients who have not had their first stroke or heart attack.
And after carrying out a review of research, Dr Ike Iheanacho said in a medical journal editorial that people with no signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD) should not use the drug as a preventative measure because of the risk of internal bleeding of the stomach.
In the latest expert advice, Dr Iheanacho stressed that patients who have already had cardiovascular problems should continue to take aspirin if they have been prescribed the medication.
But the article, published in the Drug And Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB), calls on doctors to review giving aspirin to other people, such as diabetics and those with high pressure.
Copyright Press Association 2009