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Aspirin and kidney function. (News you can use).

Many doctors are prescribing a low dose of aspirin to thin the blood and protect against heart disease. They do this as though this preventive treatment was completely safe. I thought you should know that the first study on the effect of low-dose aspirin on the kidneys worries me. You see, we've known for years that more than three grams of aspirin a day causes uric acid to be excreted from the kidneys. This is important in gout, where there's too much uric acid and it needs to be excreted. And we also know that one to two grams of aspirin a day can cause uric acid retention that can contribute to gout. But what about the low doses of aspirin?

This recent study of 49 people over the age of 60 showed that as little as 75 milligrams (100 milligrams equals a gram) can significantly change kidney function and the rate at which uric acid is excreted. Baby aspirin is 80 mg. If your uric acid level, which is tested in most blood panels, is too high or too low, discuss your aspirin intake with your doctor. And if you need to stop taking it, remember that there are other blood-thinning substances, such as garlic (used daily in food or taken in supplement form) and vitamin E. There are also many other dietary and lifestyle changes that can result in protecting your heart.

Caspi, D., et al. "The effect of mini-dose aspirin on renal function and uric acid handling in elderly patients," Arthritis Rheum, vol. 43, no. 1, 2000.
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Author:Fuchs, Nan Kathryn
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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