5. Tension headaches
Annual U.S. cases: >3 million
Headaches are one of the most common medical conditions in the world, affecting roughly 1-in-20 adults on a daily basis. One common type of headache is a tension headache, characterized by a dull, aching head pain and tenderness in the neck and shoulders. Though the exact cause of tension headaches are unknown, many researchers believe they are related to heightened emotions and stress. As a pain reliever, aspirin is one of many over the counter medications that can effectively treat tension headaches.
6. Breast cancer
Annual U.S. cases: 232,924
Recent studies suggest that aspirin can increase the likelihood of survival among those suffering from a number of cancers, including breast cancer. While there is less doubt regarding aspirin’s benefits to patients with other types of cancer, such as colorectal, a low dose aspirin regimen during the course of the cancer treatment can improve chances of survival for patients with breast cancer.
Annual U.S. cases: >3 million (influenza)
Fever, or high body temperature, is a symptom of a number of infections, including the flu and common cold. Along with several other over-the-counter medications, including those containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen, aspirin can be an effective way to reduce a fever. Many Americans likely associate fevers with the seasonal flu, an infection that affects millions of Americans each year.
Annual U.S. cases: 795,000
Strokes are one of the leading causes of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Most strokes occur when blood flow to a part of the brain is cut off. The reduced blood flow deprives the brain of oxygen and kills cells in whatever part of the brain is affected. Because of aspirin’s anti-blood clotting properties, many stroke victims are given aspirin upon arrival at the hospital to reduce the likelihood of another stroke.
In rarer instances, strokes are caused by ruptured blood vessels in the brain. In these cases, aspirin is to be avoided as the very properties that make it an effective treatment for strokes caused by clotting can make bleeding more severe.