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June 30, 2000

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Question from Bethlehem, Georgia, USA:

I have read many times about aspirin therapy in diabetes to decrease the risk of heart disease. Are there are any studies in children using baby aspirin? My son is almost 4 and was diagnosed 11 months ago. What are risks verses the benefits if any at this age?

Answer:

You are correct that there is great evidence to suggest aspirin is a benefit to decrease heart disease in adults. However, in children, the use of aspirin is generally discouraged because of the risk of a particularly bad association with a devastating condition called Reyes’s Syndrome. There is no evidence I’m aware of that aspirin is a benefit in your son’s age group except in very unusual circumstances.

MSB