Aspirin has been widely used to prevent cardiovascular death. But their has been some controversy as to its benefits and risks. A recent meta-analysis concludes that aspirin prevents deaths, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke, and increases hemorrhagic stroke and major bleeding when used in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Calculate the number need to treat (NNT) for the three benefits (i.e. lower deaths, myocardial infarctions, and ischemic strokes) and the number needed to harm (NNH) for the two adverse effects (i.e. higher hemorrhagic stroke and major bleeding). Knowing these numbers, would you take aspirin to prevent cardiovascular death? Why or why not?

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