Does baby aspirin lower blood pressure? Aspirin, an over-the-counter medication that’s known to significantly reduce the likelihood of stroke, has long been studied to see if it could help reduce high blood pressure. For years, the pharmaceutical company that produces aspirin, GlaxoSmithKline, has maintained that the drug holds no guarantees regarding the lower risk of hypertension. High blood pressure, it points out, can be caused by many factors, and aspirin doesn’t necessarily reduce the likelihood of developing hypertension.
Some experts, though, are also quick to point out that studies involving human subjects have shown that taking aspirin does indeed reduce high blood pressure, but only if you take it in the proper dose and for the recommended length of time. So even though doctors often recommend that patients start with a low dose (“baby” aspirin) when first starting a program of daily aspirin, people who don’t take the pill regularly still can experience some mild benefits from it. In addition, experts have found that using aspirin as a treatment for milder forms of arthritis can actually cause more damage than good. The risk becomes magnified if your doctor decides to switch you from a preventive to a treatment regimen, or if your current level of high blood pressure is already severe.
If you’re taking aspirin for your arthritis, talk to your doctor about how best to proceed. Usually, stopping daily aspirin therapy involves either reducing your dose or switching to a maintenance regimen. Some doctors recommend that patients start taking their medication a few weeks before they expect an attack to occur. Patients should also be told not to take aspirin together with other anti-hypertensives, such as beta-blockers, nitrates, and diuretics. When combined with these other medications, your blood pressure could increase instead of decreasing.
How does this help prevent hypertension? By reducing high blood pressure caused by excess stomach acid, it helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Of course, most people taking the pill aren’t suffering from heart disease. Still, the prevention of hypertension and heart problems can cut down on the number of emergency room visits for those who already have them. As a matter of fact, when pregnant women are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s usually because of their elevated levels of triglycerides (fats) in their body. And high blood pressure is often considered an important risk factor for child bearing and childbirth.
When your arteries get clogged, your heart has to work extra hard to keep up. The harder it works, the more stress it puts on your heart. Over time, the buildup can cause the walls of your heart chamber to erode, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis. By reducing high blood pressure that has been caused by excess stomach acid, aspirin reduces the buildup of cholesterol, which can also contribute to coronary artery disease and heart attack.
A study conducted at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City showed that patients given daily aspirin therapy had a significant reduction in their heart attack risk. Patients were given dosages of aspirin after every meal for two months. Researchers monitored the patients and found no significant differences in the levels of bad cholesterol or good cholesterol, which are known indicators of developing heart disease. However, the amount of bad cholesterol was significantly reduced.
As a matter of fact, the decreased LDL levels were noticed within just two months of starting aspirin therapy. In addition, researchers noticed that the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart did not become clogged as they do in case of high cholesterol. It’s clear that the increased pressure on the heart brought about by atherosclerosis in the arteries is what reduced blood flow to the heart. As a result, the heart muscles, as well as the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart are not able to pump out the necessary amount of blood. The decreased oxygenation rate brought about by this can eventually lead to heart stroke or heart attack.
It’s important to know how your medication can affect your overall health. Always consult your doctor before taking medicine. You might also want to ask your doctor regarding other possible heart health medications that you should consider. For more tips on keeping yourself safe, consult your family doctor. He or she will be able to give you the best advice for ensuring your heart health.