Ted is the Communications Director for the Heart Disease and Stroke Program
Now that I’m in my mid-40s, I’m aware of many things that affect my health. I know I should be active, I know I should eat right, and I know I shouldn’t smoke. But one thing my friends and I have been hesitant to do is to start taking an aspirin every day. Does it work? Is it right for me? There seems to be a lot of differing opinions on whether or not aspirin can give extra health benefits. So, I dug around a bit for more information, and found the only hard and fast rule on taking a daily aspirin is this: Consult your doctor or healthcare provider first.
So, why the hubbub about aspirin? It’s known to many that aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Aspirin can also help maintain normal circulation when arteries stop working as well as they should.
However, you may have recently heard about a possible link between aspirin and a lower risk of the development or spread of cancer. In March, www.lancet.com published studies that add to the growing evidence that a daily aspirin can help prevent and possibly treat cancer.
This data support previous studies showing aspirin may help stop the spread of some cancers, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Results from other studies have suggested aspirin may also benefit pregnant women, and patients with diabetes or dementia.
So, if aspirin’s so great, shouldn’t everyone take it? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a wonder drug. In some people, aspirin may cause side effects, or interact with other medications or herbal supplements. Always tell your doctor or healthcare provider about any medicines or supplements you might be taking.
There are, of course, other ways to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Although the risk of these diseases is sometimes affected by family history, we can influence many other factors, including preventing or controlling high cholesterol and blood pressure; choosing foods with less salt; avoiding tobacco and secondhand smoke; and choosing to move more and eat healthy.
Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA posted on Apr 23
Registration for the 19th Annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference is open! This event, to be held May 20, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA attracts professionals from local public health organizations, long-term-care facilities, pharmacies, college health, hospitals, physician practices, community health centers, employers, health …Continue Reading Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse