How Your Weight Affects Your Aspirin Regimen

Research now suggests that weighing more than 154 pounds may reduce aspirin benefits.

Your Video is Loading

Is Low-Dose or Baby Aspirin Right for You? (3:48)

While we’ve all heard that an aspirin a day can help stave off heart attacks, stroke, and certain cancers, it turns out there’s a catch: Your weight. You only get the benefits if you weigh less than 154 pounds, Healthline reports.

In a new study published in The Lancet, researchers found that participants weighing 110 to 154 pounds taking 81 milligrams of baby aspirin had a 23 percent lower risk of stroke and heart disease, compared to the group that weighed more than 154 pounds. While they considered increasing the aspirin dosage for the higher weight group, that would mean taking a full dose of aspirin -- 325 milligrams -- daily, which can cause excessive bleeding.

While researchers still need to determine the best dosage, Dr. Michael Miller, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says he would still recommend a full-dose aspirin for people weighing more than 154 pounds who have diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or smoke cigarettes, because they have a “higher likelihood of blood formation for which a higher aspirin dose is likely to be more protective.” Miller adds that anyone looking to adopt an aspirin regimen should talk to their doctors to customize their dosage.

Related:

Quiz: Do You Need to Be on an Aspirin Regimen?

13 Incredible Ways to Use Aspirin

Dr. Oz Explains What Aspirin Does to Your Blood