Medical Minute: An Aspirin a Day... For Diabetics?

Updated: March 06, 2018 05:55 PM

For millions of American living with Type 2 diabetes and heart failure, an aspirin a day may have some added health benefits. ABC's Tara Palmeri has more in this Medical Minute.

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According to a new study presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting, diabetics with heart failure taking an aspirin every day, have a lower risk of dying or being hospitalized for heart failure.

12,000 patients were included in this study. They were all 55 years of age or older and suffered from both Type 2 diabetes and heart failure. Half were taking a daily aspirin and half were not.

Five years later, those taking that daily aspirin had a ten percent decrease in risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure, but shockingly they were 50% more likely to have a non-fatal heart attack or stroke.

Aspirin acts as a blood thinner, reducing the risk for clots. Both heart failure and diabetes cause changes in the blood that make clot formation more likely. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

About 27 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes and about 6.5 million have heart failure.

In light of these results, the study's authors are now urging patients to talk with their doctors to fully assess the benefits and risks - before taking a daily aspirin.

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