Talk with Your Doctor about Taking Aspirin to Prevent Disease

The Basics
Daily aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Your doctor can help you decide if it’s right for you.

Take Action!
Share your family health history with your doctor.

Start Today: Small Steps

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The Basics

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Taking low-dose aspirin (or “baby aspirin”) regularly can lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and colorectal cancer. For most people, aspirin is safe. But it’s not right for everyone. 

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin regularly if you are age 50 to 59 and you have any of these risk factors for heart disease:

Talk with your doctor about your health history and ask if low-dose aspirin is right for you.

Usually, taking aspirin to prevent disease means taking it every day. Most people will need to take aspirin regularly for at least 5 to 10 years to get all of the benefits. Make sure your doctor says it's okay before you start taking aspirin every day. 

What are the benefits of taking aspirin regularly?

Taking low-dose aspirin regularly can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by preventing blood clots. Blood clots are clumps of thickened blood that can block blood flow to parts of the body. They can cause serious health problems or even death.

A blood clot can:

Taking aspirin regularly can prevent blood clots and lower your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you've already had a heart attack or stroke, aspirin can lower your risk of having another one.

Taking aspirin regularly for at least 5 to 10 years can also lower your risk of colorectal cancer –– but experts aren’t sure why.

Can taking aspirin every day cause any side effects?

Taking aspirin regularly isn't right for everyone. For some people, it may cause side effects –– like bleeding in the stomach.

Talk with your doctor before you start taking aspirin. Be sure to tell your doctor about any health conditions you have (like stomach problems or bleeding problems).

To learn more, read these benefits and risks of taking aspirin every day. External Links Disclaimer Logo


Take Action!

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Take these steps to protect your health if you are at risk of heart attack or stroke. 

Find out if daily aspirin is right for you.

Your doctor can help you decide if low-dose aspirin is the right choice for you. Talk with your doctor about:

It's important to tell your doctor about all the other medicines you take, including vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines (medicines you can get without a prescription). It may be dangerous to mix aspirin with other medicines.

What about cost?

Aspirin is inexpensive and sold over-the-counter. For some adults, aspirin is covered under the  Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.

Know your family’s health history.

Your family history affects your risk for heart attack, stroke, and colorectal cancer. Use this family health history tool to keep track of your family’s health. Share this information with your doctor. 

Use aspirin safely.

If you and your doctor decide that regularly taking low-dose aspirin is right for you, follow these safety tips:

Make it easy to remember.

Here are a few things that may help you remember to take aspirin regularly:

Take steps to protect your health.

Taking low-dose aspirin regularly is just one of many ways to stay healthy.

To lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer:

Keep your heart healthy.

Eating healthy is another way to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Find out more about keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk of stroke.

Get tested for colorectal cancer.

If you are age 50 to 75, get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer. Screening can help prevent colorectal cancer or find it early, when it’s easier to treat. Learn more about colorectal cancer screening.


Start Today: Small Steps

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