Aspirin’s Benefits vary for Men and Women

A recent medical review of six studies highlights the value of taking aspirin every day. However, the value was different for men and women. According to results of the review which were published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, women received a 12% reduction in the risk of stroke, while men experienced a reduction in heart attack risk or the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The overall reduced risk for men was 14%. The studies evaluated almost 100,000 people over 3 decades. Health experts are not sure why men and women get the different benefits from aspirin. One possibility is that platelet (cells involved in the clotting of blood) activity differs in women and men. Other ideas involve the differences in the naturally occurring hormones in men and women and the effect such hormones have on the heart and circulation. Researchers involved in the analysis warn about the possibility of gastrointestinal bleeding from aspirin use. The other concern has to do with aspirin resistance, the idea that in some persons, aspirin does not produce a protective benefit.