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Can Heart Disease Be Prevented and Reversed?

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Can Aspirin Really Keep Heart Attack Away?

According to the new guidelines issued by American Heart Association (AHA) and published in the Feb 20, 2007 issue of Circulation, Journal of AHA, all women of 65 and older should consider taking a daily dose of aspirin.

In contrast to 162 mg previously, AHA recommends women with no heart disease to take a low dose of 81 mg daily while those at high risk to take 325 mg daily. It is reported that women account for nearly half of all deaths resulting from heart attack. But compared with men, they are less likely to believe that they are having a heart attack, and they are also more likely to delay getting emergency treatment.

If we look at the statistics, deaths from heart attacks have steadily decreased for men during the past 20 years yet the death figures remained the same for women.

Aspirin is a non-steroidal painkiller that is capable of thinning blood and it has already been given to women who are at high risk of heart attack. Although American doctors helping in formulating the guidelines felt that age was definitely a factor in causing more deaths of women than men in hospital after a heart attack.

Cardiologists located elsewhere do not fully agree. Some felt that it is not true that any women over the age of 65 would be at risk and so they must take a daily dose of aspirin. Nevertheless, a woman of 65 would usually be menopausal with possible heart disease risk factors such as hypertension and overweight. Others regarded the guidelines as recommendations that would make doctors more cautious about an older women’s heart health when assessing her other medical issues. Hence, the best approach is to have a total assessment before prescribing aspirin.

The past experience showed that taking aspirin over a long period of time would increase the risk of bleeding in the gut.

Aspirin is definitely not the only way to prevent heart disease. Modifying one’s lifestyle by eating healthy and exercise regularly can possibly keep one away from heart disease over a longer period.

Incidentally, the guidelines, updated from 2004, also recommend women change their eating and exercise habits to achieve healthy blood pressure, and quit smoking. Women should exercise at least 60 minutes a day on most of the week at the level of brisk walking, and cut their saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of their calories and eat oily or another source of omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week.

 

 

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