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What is Safer -- Fighting Fires or Taking Aspirin?

Taking an aspirin every day is nearly as risky as working as a firefighter.

For 50-year-old men, taking a daily aspirin (which many do to help prevent heart disease and strokes) increases the risk of death by the equivalent of 10.4 deaths per 100,000 men per year.

This is similar to the added risk that professional firefighters face. Firefighters have an added risk of 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people per year, compared to 3.9 for all occupations and 0.4 for office workers.

In comparison, drugs that have been withdrawn from the market, such as the painkiller Vioxx and the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, increased the risk of death by 76 deaths per 100,000 people per year and 65 deaths per 100,000 people per year, respectively. Tysabri may be reintroduced to the market if the FDA deems it worth using despite the risks.

Health Affairs, Vol. 26, No. 3, May/June 2007: 636-646

Yahoo News May 8, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

If you still believe in the dubious safety of the drugs you take -- even ones you purchase over the counter -- you may surprised to learn just how risky taking a daily aspirin really is.

Of course, if you were so unfortunate as to have taken Vioxx or Tysabri when they were still on the market, your risk is far, far greater.

Aspirin has developed a reputation in conventional medical circles for being a useful approach for lowering the risk of heart disease -- just take one a day to prevent heart attack or stroke. But once you understand natural medical principles, it is easy to see that no drug is truly the solution for chronic degenerative disease.

If you read the studies by British and American researchers, you will learn that taking aspirin definitely does more harm than good. The potential side effects of aspirin include:

Don't believe a physician that instructs you to take an aspirin to reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke. That nonsense was proven false nearly a decade ago. If you don't believe me, research it for yourself. There are FAR more effective options to prevent heart disease and stroke than simply popping a pill.

Although drugs may seem to provide some initial benefit, the long-term overall effects are rarely appreciated. Drug treatments almost invariably result in a combination of side effects that far outweigh any benefit -- including, in the case of aspirin and many other drugs, an increased risk of death.

Unfortunately, the take-home message here -- that federal regulators must do a better job of assessing the true risks and rewards of taking drugs -- will continue to be a pipe dream as long as drug companies, with cooperation from the FDA, have anything to say about it.

The real answer is to Take Control of Your Health. You can review the over 100,000 pages of information on our Web site; this is an important first step toward improving your health safely, naturally and without drugs.

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