Daily Aspirin Right for Men and Women?

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CBNNews.com - Men should start taking a daily aspirin at age 45 to lower the risk of heart attack by 20 percent, according to recent U.S. Preventive Services findings.

Doctors add that women should start a daily aspirin regimine at age 55 to protect against strokes.

However, some medical experts have concerns.

"In my mind the real problem is that there are so many side effects, many of which haven't even been talked about, that you're better to go a different direction," said Gailon Totheroh, CBN News Science and Medical Reporter.

Click the player to watch the entire interview with CBN News Science and Medical Reporter Gailon Totheroh.

The recent study also found that both men and women can get the protection they need from baby aspirin because lower doses of the medication -- between 75 and 81 milligrams -- are as effective as higher doses.

Dr. Albert Levy of New York's Mt. Sinai School of Medicine said the decision to start a daily dosage should not be taken lightly.

"The patient will, at the end of the day, decide to take or not to take the doctor's advice. The doctor should explain the pros and cons and document the discussion as it is a very tricky issue. Aspirin is great but also dangerous," he said.

As a person ages there is a greater risk of bleeding in the brain or the digestive system.

The study advises both sexes to discontinue dosage at age 80, unless a doctor says otherwise.

Sources: ABC News, ChicagoTribune.com

*Originally aired March 19, 2009.

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