Why Taking Aspirin Prevents Heart Attacks


Allie Lemco Toren

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Aspirin is the most widely used medicine in the world—and it’s not just because it’s an effective pain reliever. If you’re at high risk of a heart-related problem, like a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may have told you to take a low dose of aspirin every day for heart health. That’s because aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and even a low dose can accomplish this important feat while minimizing possible side effects.

How Aspirin Works

When you get a cut, special clotting cells in your blood, called platelets, will migrate to the site of the injury and clump together, forming a plug (which becomes a scab) that stops the bleeding and initiates wound healing. You might be familiar with this process when it happens externally, but this also occurs on the inside of our bodies. And while these blood clots are helpful for a skinned knee, they can cause serious problems in specific areas of your body.

You'll probably have a lot of questions after a heart attack. Watch this video to learn more about the recovery process.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 1, 2018

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