Health Advice



Understanding the latest aspirin caution

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

In 1965, when Herman's Hermits sang "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," Peter Noone (Herman) wasn't asking his doc if he'd developed heart failure -- he was more concerned with his risk for a broken heart. But heart failure is risky, too.

It's a medical condition affecting more than 6 million Americans that happens when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Faulty heart valves, high blood pressure or narrowed arteries, as well as a heart attack or a blood clot, may initiate it. Symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue, and it may lead to kidney and liver damage and arrhythmia.

Well, it turns out that regular aspirin use -- often prescribed for the prevention of heart attack and stroke -- is linked to a 26% increase in the risk of heart failure in folks who smoke, are obese, have high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

A study, published in ESC Heart Failure, looked at data on 30,827 individuals (around age 67) at risk for developing heart failure. When the study started, 7,698 of the participants were taking aspirin. During the 5.3-year follow-up, 1,330 participants developed heart failure.

What this means for you. We wonder: Were aspirin takers sicker from the start and more likely to develop heart failure anyway? So ... if you're on a doctor-prescribed aspirin regimen, DON'T STOP TAKING IT. Talk with your physician about the risks and benefits for you; if the study info is relevant to your health; and alternative ways to protect yourself from heart attack or stroke.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Mike at

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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