Recent research indicates that a drug familiar to many of us could save thousands of lives and reduce health care spending by close to $700 billion. This drug costs less than 1 cent per pill and can be purchased at your local pharmacy … supermarket … and even gas station! You’ve probably taken it before, and even if you haven’t, you almost certainly know the name: aspirin.
The Near-Miraculous Benefits of Aspirin
According to a study published in the journal PLOS One in 2016, 60 percent of people who could experience profound benefits from taking aspirin do not do so! Researchers David B. Agus, Étienne Gaudette, Dana P. Goldman, and Andrew Messali combed through the health records of thousands of patients to investigate how aspirin could affect health…longevity…and medical expenses.
They focused their analysis on individuals between the ages of 51 and 79 living in the United States. Agus, Gaudette, Goldman and Messali found that routine aspirin use could…
- Decrease rates of heart disease
- Help prevent cancer
- Lengthen lifespan
- Reduce national healthcare expenses by $692 billion
Aspirin Can Help Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Although health professionals have recommended aspirin as a means of preventing heart disease since the early 2000s, the use of aspirin for this purpose remains low. The results of a national survey from 2011-2012 reveal that less than half the people who would benefit from daily aspirin use actually take the medication.
While evidence supporting the use of aspirin to prevent cancer continues to multiply, yet few outside the medical field are even aware of this. Agus, Gaudette, Goldman and Messali believe that daily aspirin use could facilitate “better care, better health, and smarter spending.” They hope their research can clarify the rewards – and risks – of aspirin use for those who might benefit most from it.
Are We Too Worried About Side Effects?
As with any treatment, aspirin use can cause side effects. Dr. Robert H. Schmerling, faculty editor of Harvard Health Publications, believes that may be one reason why people avoid taking it. Additional reasons cited by Schmerling include…
- Lack of awareness of aspirin’s preventative benefits
- No specific recommendation from doctor
- Experienced side effects, such as allergic reaction, with prior use
- General aversion to medications
Everyone has the right to decide for themselves what level of risk they are comfortable with when choosing a treatment—especially a preventative one. That said, it seems many people may not be aware of the dramatic benefits that aspirin use can deliver.
Who Can Benefit from Regular Doses of Aspirin
Could you benefit from regular doses of aspirin? Read through the following criteria to see if any apply to you…
- Over age 50
- History of heart attack or stroke
- High risk of future cardiovascular problems
- Genetic predisposition to certain kinds of cancer, including nonpolyposis colorectal cancer
“Given aspirin’s remarkable preventive effectiveness, it is a rare example of a technology that may produce less disease and better long-term health outcomes for Americans at a low price,” stated the authors of the PLOS One study.
While there could be valid reasons not to take aspirin, that decision might substantially impact your health, so be sure to give it the thought it deserves.