Aspirin’s not just a painkiller and a blood thinner, it might be a miracle drug. But there are positives and negatives. Let’s start with the positive:
• First: Aspirin can lower your cancer risk. Studies show that 5 years of daily aspirin use reduces your risk of dying from cancer by 37%. And in breast cancer survivors, women taking low-dose aspirin are 71% less likely to have a deadly recurrence than those who took little or no aspirin.
• Another aspirin fact: It could help during pregnancy. Studies show that aspirin-takers are 10% less likely to develop pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition that involves high blood pressure, and potential serious complications for mother and fetus. But before you try it, talk to your obstetrician.
• Aspirin may also help protect you from Alzheimer’s. According to a study review in Neurology, people who used aspirin were 13% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. That’s because aspirin’s an anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Still, taking aspirin has a few risks:
• First: It may increase the risk of hearing loss. The American Journal of Medicine found that men who take aspirin at least twice a week have a 33% higher risk of hearing loss.
• Also: Aspirin can cause stomach ulcers, especially with long-term use. That’s because it can irritate the lining of your stomach.
• And aspirin can cause bleeding in general. It makes your blood platelets less sticky, so your blood’s less likely to clot. So, if you’re scheduled for surgery, make sure your doctor knows about your aspirin use.
• Finally, there is such a thing as "aspirin resistance." Researchers found that nearly 30% of people taking aspirin are resistant to its affects. Making them four times as likely as to have a heart attack, stroke, or die as those who do get the benefits of aspirin.