BP Basics

Aspirin and Hypertension- Pros and Cons Go Side by Side

Aspirin is a drug that helps to reduce fever, pain and inflammation. Another effect of this drug is that it reduces blood clotting. Cardiologists routinely prescribe aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease. It is also prescribed to control hypertension in people who are above 50 and whose blood pressure is lower than 150/90 mmHg.

Since aspirin is an OTC drug, a number of people tend to self medicate themselves with this drug. Overdosing with aspirin may result in internal bleeding, ulcers, asthma and blood in the stool.

Does aspirin help to control hypertension?  Aspirin is a blood-thinning agent. It should be used only after a diagnosis by a physician. According to the British hypertension society, small dosage of aspirin should be given to persons above 50 years of age. Various studies indicate that people of this age had a lower risk of Congestive Heart Disease (CHD) if their blood pressure was under control.

Another study conducted by hypertension optimal study (HOT)  reveals that controlled dosage of aspirin in a day decreases the cardiovascular risk by 15% and reduces chances of myocardial infraction by as much as 36%.

On the other hand, aspirin contributes to increased chances of bleeding of the stomach lining by as much as 65%. It also may cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
Aspirin is also helpful in cases of hypertension induced by pregnancy. This hypertension is responsible for significant prenatal morbidity and mortality. As per studies conducted in this area, low dosages of aspirin are effective in reducing this type of hypertension to the extent of 65%. The same studies also conclude that aspirin also reduces low birth weight by 44$ and complications due to cesarean section by 66%.

It can be reasonably concluded that although aspirin is not a first line of defense against hypertension, it plays a role in preventing this health problem.