Secret to lowering heart attack risk? Aspirin before bedtime


Lance Tillson

According to a news release from the American Heart Association, the secret to lowering your heart attack risk is to take an aspirin before going to bed at night as opposed to taking one in the morning. This was the conclusion researchers presented to the attendees at the AHA’s Scientific Session 2013.

Doctors recommend taking low-dose aspirin on a daily basis for individuals at high risk of heart disease and for lowering the risk of additional heart events. Aspirin lowers your risk of heart attack by thinning the blood and decreasing the likeliness that it will clot. The AHA recommends that aspirin be taken before bedtime because the propensity for platelet activity to be higher peaks in the morning.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should take a daily aspirin only if your doctor recommends that you do so. You should never begin daily aspirin therapy on your own. Although taking an occasional aspirin or two is okay for most adults, daily use of aspirin can have major side effects, including internal bleeding. Your doctor will look at the risks versus the benefits when making his or her recommendation.

The American Heart Association notes that aspirin is one of the most widely utilized medical treatments worldwide. However, it was not until 1971 that the mechanism of the action of aspirin was fully understood. Since 1971, studies involving tens of thousands of patients have shown that aspirin works to prevent heart attack and stroke.

This is the first to examine the timing of aspirin intake among cardiovascular disease patients. In the study, 290 patients took either 100 mg of aspirin after waking up or before going to bed for two 3-month periods. At the end of each study period, the researchers determined blood pressure and platelet activity.

The researchers discovered that blood pressure was not lowered, but they found that bedtime aspirin platelet activity was lowered by 22 units.

“Because higher platelet activity contributes to a higher risk of acute heart events, this simple intervention – switching aspirin intake from morning to bedtime – could be beneficial for the millions of patients with heart disease who take aspirin on a daily basis,” noted Dr. Tobias Bonten, M.D., Ph.D student at the Leiden University Medical Center, in a statement.

What do you think of the study’s findings? Do you take aspirin? When do you take it? If you take it in the morning, will you start taking it before bedtime after reading this study? Has your doctor recommended that you start daily aspirin therapy? Start a conversation by sounding off in the comments sections.

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This is the first to examine the timing of aspirin intake among cardiovascular disease patients.

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