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Can aspirin prevent a heart attack?

Low-dose aspirin -- up to 325 mg per day -- helps prevent heart attacks when taken daily upon the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Today, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that people at high risk for heart attack or stroke discuss taking a daily, low-dose aspirin with their healthcare professionals.

For women who should be on aspirin therapy, it doesn't take much to get the benefits. Studies find that between 75 and 100 mg, known as "low-dose aspirin therapy," are enough to reduce the risk for heart attack or angina. Most aspirin brands come in low-dose formulations of 81 mg. The upper dosage for aspirin in women at a high risk for heart disease is 325 mg.

Aspirin's cardioprotective benefits stem from its unique ability to interfere with the blood cells that are responsible for forming sticky clots. Aspirin also soothes inflammation in the arteries, which can help protect blockages from developing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.