How Does Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy Help Prevent Strokes?


Quick Answer

Low-dose aspirin therapy helps prevent strokes by changing the blood's clotting system; aspirin acts as a blood thinner, helping reduce the chances of blood accumulating in arteries and the bloodstream, which prevents formation of potentially dangerous blood clots, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Low-dose aspirin therapy benefits individuals with past histories of strokes, and acts as a preventative aid, reducing the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks in people at risk of those events. Physicians may recommend low-dose aspirin therapy for qualifying patients, provided they have no underlying bleeding disorder.

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Full Answer

Following ingestion, aspirin enters the bloodstream. It reduces the buildup of platelets, which exist as clumps of blood that form at the sites of wounds to prevent excessive bleeding. Platelets may accumulate in heart vessels, too. In those vessels, however, platelets create blood clots. Those clots can then break away from the vessels, entering the heart or brain, where they cause heart attacks and strokes, respectively. Low-dose aspirin therapy benefits people with histories of strokes or heart attacks, and serves as a preventative tool, as noted by WebMD. Low-dose aspirin therapy helps people with certain risk factors causing strokes, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol and lifestyle factors like smoking and obesity. Prior to starting an aspirin regimen, doctors evaluate patients' risk factors, ensuring they derive benefits, rather than face unnecessary risks, from aspirin therapy.

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