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Does aspirin really help protect against stokes and heart attacks?

Many older people take an aspirin every day in the belief that it will prevent strokes and heart attacks.

But is there any scientific evidence to back this up? The answer, you may be surprised to learn, is yes. When an aspirin enters the body it essentially thins the blood thereby discouraging a blood vessel blockage - the main cause of strokes and heart attacks.

Research has constantly shown that taking an aspirin every day for a sustained period of time will lower your risk of suffering one of these potentially life threatening events.

However, before you rush of to the chemists, you should know that the reduction of risk is only very small. But any reduction is good, right? Well, not if there's a long list of possible side effects to take into account. Taking an aspirin on a regular basis can cause indigestion, prolonged bleeding and in some cases stomach ulcers.

Diet and lifestyle choices have a far greater effect on your likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack but with none of the side effects of popping an aspirin a day. So really the best advice is to eat healthily, exercise regularly and leave that of aspirin bottle alone.

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