Medicine: A New Role for the Wonder Drug; Aspirin

Aspirin may prevent strokes in heart patients

Talk about a panacea. Two years ago, doctors announced that daily doses of plain old inexpensive aspirin could significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks. Now the ubiquitous little pill that seems to be good for everything from headaches to menstrual cramps has done it again. Its new role: preventing strokes.

In a report published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers revealed that daily doses of aspirin, or of a blood-thinning medication called warfarin, could sharply curtail the risk of stroke in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heartbeat is rapid and irregular....