published Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Ask a doctor: I have diabetes. Does that mean I need to take aspirin daily?

By Dr. Monica Gefter

Q: I have diabetes. Does that mean I need to take aspirin daily?

A: Previous guidelines recommended aspirin for all patients with diabetes who are over 40 years of age. The newer guidelines have changed. Aspirin is now advised for men with diabetes who are over 50 and women with diabetes over 60 who also have at least one additional risk factor for heart disease: smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease or protein in the urine. A dose of 81 mg per day of aspirin is adequate. Higher doses increase the risk of bleeding significantly. Maintaining your diabetes and cholesterol under good control is essential to lower your risk of heart disease, and not smoking is a very important part of treatment.

— Dr. Monica Gefter, Academic Internal Medicine; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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