New Delhi: While there is a raging debate on the role of aspirin in preventing heart attacks, a leading cardiologist has cautioned against people starting the pill therapy on their own. "The best way to know if you are a candidate for aspirin therapy is to ask your doctor. You should not start aspirin on your own," says Prof Upendra Kaul, Executive Director and Dean, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre. Earlier studies had established aspirin`s efficacy as an anti-clotting agent leading to its widespread use as a preventive treatment for heart attacks. However, recent studies showed that aspirin users were about 30 per cent more likely to have a serious gastrointestinal bleeding event, a side-effect of frequent aspirin use. Though some previous studies suggested that regular aspirin use could prevent cancer, the new analysis showed no such benefit. "You should not start aspirin therapy without first consulting your physician. The risks and benefits of aspirin therapy vary from person to person," says Kaul.
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