Heart patients shelling out money for expensive blood thinners might take note of a major new study in the New England Journal of Medicine: It seems regular old aspirin is just as effective in warding off strokes and hemorrhages, reports AFP. The 10-year study of more than 2,000 patients found that the combined risk for such ailments was 7.5% for those taking the blood thinner warfarin, or Coumadin. It was a 7.9% for those taking aspirin, a statistically insignificant difference.

“Since the overall risks and benefits are similar for aspirin and warfarin, the patient and his or her doctor are free to choose the treatment that best meets their particular medical needs,” says the lead researcher from the Columbia University Medical Center. “However, given the convenience and low cost of aspirin, many may go this route.”

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