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The media sells advertising; it’s not intend to inform people. The pretense that they provide useful information for your life is 99% hoax and the 1% that might be useful if inspected carefully is usually 99% wrong. That’s obviously overstating it a bit, because it would mean only one part in ten thousand of what you read in a news source would be useful. It would be like mutations in the biological world – that are almost always counter productive to the wellbeing of their recipients. Media is not that bad – there are some mistakes.

I am saddened but not surprised by today’s news about aspirin because it states that 43 million Americans have been taking aspirin every day for years. The article as reported in AARP, a very widely circulated news magazine aimed at older people, states in the opening paragraph:

Some 43 million Americans do it every day: take a tiny aspirin to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. In fact, doctors have been routinely recommending the practice to older adults for years. But recently, experts have been questioning the aspirin-a-day regimen, concerned that this everyday miracle drug can pose serious risks, including bleeding in the brain and stomach.

This may be a rare case where there is useful information in a news media. Their good information is that the previous information which they provided was bunk. This whole aspirin baloney foisted on the American public for the last twenty years has probably killed more people than it saved. The reason is simple enough: aspirin causes accidentally acquired injuries to bleed more profusely, also unseen internal bleeding from disease processes become more severe. Some of these bleeding deaths undoubtedly aggravated the already injured body but that was not listed as the cause of death unless the person physically bled out. These types of observations are not included in the overly narrow statistical studies showing a slight improvement in heart attack deaths compared to the placeboed normals. “The study—published in the Journal of the American Medical Association—reported that taking a daily aspirin (100 mg) almost doubled the risk of dangerous internal bleeding.” This is strangely reminiscent of what I published in November 1994, in Proba-95-Clots. The third sentence of that article, just after the introduction –

Taking aspirin every day as a preventive for heart attacks is probably counterproductive unless there are at least some specific symptoms to suggest its use. Various agencies have recommended aspirin usage by everyone, even healthy young adults, on a daily basis but eventually that proposal will probably prove shortsighted and be quietly withdrawn. Daily usage will probably be found to cause more harm than good among the healthy population. The lifesaving effect found in the studies probably comes from their excessively narrow focus.

How many thousands of Americans, and perhaps millions of others, have died because of the medical community’s blind following of obvious nonsense, when a much better procedure could have just as easily have been promulgated and added years to their productive lives. Once again from  Proba-95-Clots.

always carry two aspirin and a Benadryl ®, a safe, over the counter, antihistamine and vasodilator, with you. For men this is easily done by wrapping the tablets in plastic and putting them in a corner of your wallet. When you have a chest pain or a sudden weakness or other sudden inexplicable bodily malfunctions take them immediately, chew them up and get your body to the emergency clinic.

In the ensuing seventeen years, since I published that article, it has been touched up a bit in various posts, like last week’s suggestion to Keep your heart attack aspirin at your bedside so you have it instantly available when you get out of bed in the morning. That way you won’t have to search around for your wallet or stagger into the bathroom to find your aspirin. The quicker you chew up your aspirin when you have a sudden onset bodily problem the more likely it will be effective.

Taking a drug when you need it is wise, taking it when you don’t is foolish.