Aspirin can lower the risk of heart attacks, but there's concern that it's being overused.
September 15, 2015 Some adults at risk of heart attack or stroke can indeed benefit from taking a daily aspirin, a federal panel says. And it may also lower colorectal cancer risk. But the treatment has risks, too.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/440337151/440477150" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
For all the good aspirin can do in preventing second heart attacks and strokes, taking it daily can boost some risks, too — of ulcers, for example, and of bleeding in the brain or gut.
April 27, 2015 A small dose of aspirin taken regularly can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke. But too many healthy people are taking the drug for prevention, and for them, the risks may outweigh benefits.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/402039544/402514878" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Aspirin has been prescribed for decades as a simple way to reduce heart disease risk, but doctors still aren't sure how it works.
July 5, 2013 Millions of people take aspirin to avoid heart attacks and strokes, but it doesn't work for everyone. Researchers say they've found a group of genes that could be used to identify people who aren't helped by aspirin. The question is whether there are other remedies that would help.
This image shows how macular degeneration affects a person's vision.
National Eye Institute, NIH
December 19, 2012 A study finds that taking aspirin regularly might increase the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in old age. But the evidence so far doesn't prove it's so.
Aspirin helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the jury's still out on cancer.
March 21, 2012 A review of hundreds of studies found that people who take aspirin daily lowered their risk of several cancers, but the jury's still out. And daily aspirin use also has major drawbacks — including the risk of serious internal bleeding — that may outweigh the benefits.
October 28, 2011 A study in The Lancet finds that people with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary predisposition to cancer of the digestive tract, who took aspirin twice a day for a up to 4 years were about 60 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer those who got a placebo. But
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor