Baby aspirin or no baby aspirin? That is the question, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz.
"It's a big question these days, because the information keeps changing," he says.
When it comes to routinely taking a low dose of aspirin, "about half the people who should be taking it don't, and a lot of people who are on it shouldn't be taking it," the doctor claims.
So, who should take aspirin? Here are Dr. Oz's general rules:
WHO SHOULD TAKE ASPIRIN?
Age Range: Under 50
General Rule: No aspirin needed.
As a general rule, if you're under 50 years old, you don't need to routinely take aspirin just as a preventative measure, according to the doc.
Age Range: 50-70
General Rule: Consider taking 1 baby aspirin daily only if you have existing risk factors for heart disease — and of course, talk to your doctor first.
"If you're between the ages of 50 and 70 and you have a risk factor for heart disease — which includes diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, the things that you know might plug up your arteries of your heart — then taking aspirin makes sense, because it turns out that over time, it's reducing the chance of having a lethal problem," Dr. Oz claims.
Age Range: 70+
General Rule: Continue taking 1 baby aspirin daily if you have pre-existing conditions.
"However, if you're over the age of 70 and you haven't had a heart problem, you don't have to take aspirin anymore," according to Dr. Oz, "because what we're finding is that complications related to stomach irritation and bleeding are just not worth it."
Remember that these are just general rules, and every case varies, so always talk to your doctor for individualized advice before stopping or starting to take aspirin or any over-the-counter medication.