About Daily Aspirin Therapy

BayCare is committed to improving the health of patients throughout the Tampa Bay area by providing tools and information for them to better take care of their cardiovascular systems. More than one million Americans suffer from heart attacks each year, but cardiovascular disease is a largely preventable condition. The proper lifestyle modifications, including eating right, exercising, not smoking, and managing your stress levels, can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease. People who are already at a high risk for a heart attack, due to genetics or other conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol, should talk with their doctors about other heart disease prevention approaches like daily aspirin therapy.

Low-dose aspirin therapy may be a viable option for patients who are at risk of a heart attack. Always make sure you talk with your primary care physician and get his or her approval before beginning a daily aspirin regimen, as this type of preventative therapy is not right for all patients.

How Does Aspirin Therapy Work?

The majority of heart attacks occur because the arteries, which carry blood from the heart, are hardened or blocked with plaque due to a condition called atherosclerosis. This may be a result of:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Plaque can rupture and lead to blood clots, which can block vessels that carry blood to the heart (heart attack) or vessels that carry blood to the brain (stroke). Aspirin reduces the ability of platelets in the blood to clump, thereby preventing these clots from forming.

Aspirin therapy carries risks and should not be started without a doctor’s approval. Possible side effects include allergic reactions, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hemorrhagic strokes.

Learning More About Heart Disease Prevention at BayCare

BayCare offers a variety of ways for patients in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Dunedin, Lutz, Plant City, New Port Richey, Riverview, Winter Haven and communities throughout the Tampa Bay area to learn more about reducing their heart disease risk factors. You can browse our information about Signs of a Heart Attack in Men and Women, FAQs About Atrial Fibrillation, and Heart Healthy Eating Tips.