|When plaque builds up on the artery walls, the arteries become clogged because too much fat and LDL cholesterol are in the blood stream. Known as atherosclerosis, this deadly condition can cause a heart attack. “When the plaque inside the arteries cracks, it attracts platelets within the blood,” notes Dr. Bilal Malik, Interventional Cardiologist. Platelet activation and aggregation start the formation of blood clots – thus causing a heart attack.
“Aspirin prevents heart attacks because it is an antiplatelet medication, meaning that it prevents the blood from clotting,” explains Dr. Malik. After a heart attack, anti-platelet drugs, or a daily aspirin regimen are often recommended for life. If your surgery requires a stent, an additional antiplatelet medication is recommended for at least a year, if not more.
Verdict: TRUTH with a caveat – “There is little downside unless you have bleeding elsewhere in the body,” notes Dr. Malik. If you have a known gastro-intestinal tract irritation or blood vessel weakness in the brain, you could have an increased risk of bleeding. “Speak to your doctor, making sure to include past medical events to ensure the best course of treatment is made,” stresses Dr. Malik.
|Dr. Bilal Malik
Dr. Bilal Malik is a board certified interventional cardiologist and has received numerous awards for his hard work and commitment to patient care. He was named a "Top Cardiologist" by Consumers' Research Council of America and is credited with performing the first angioplasty and coronary stent in Guyana in February 2007 at Georgetown Hospital, where he went with his team on a humanitarian mission.
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