(Alice Park/ Time) — As medications go, aspirin is often considered a wonder drug. Its pain-relieving, inflammation-taming powers can treat headaches, minor aches and pains and even lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and possibly even dementia.
But all of those benefits may come at a price, according to the latest study to analyze aspirin’s risks and benefits, especially for people who take the drug as a way to prevent having a first heart event. In a study published in JAMA, researchers led by Dr. Sean Zheng at King’s College London found that the risks of aspirin — primarily of bleeding in the stomach and intestinal tract — are about equal to the benefits the drug may provide in lowering risk of heart events in people who have not had heart problems.
In other words, when it comes to weighing the heart-health benefits of aspirin to its gastrointestinal risks in this population, for most people, it’s a wash. (…)