People's risk of suffering heart attacks is greater if they stop taking prescribed aspirin despite a history of heart disease.
That is according to a study conducted by international researchers and published online by the British Medical Journal, which indicated the chance of someone experiencing a non-fatal attack after ending a course of low-dose aspirin is 60% higher than those who continue the course.
Aspirin can help to stop the formation of blood clots. However, it is thought that the drug is given up by as many as half of long-term users.
The researchers, who were led by Dr Luis Garcia Rodriguez, drew their conclusions after analysing an array of Health Improvement Network data.
Discussing their findings, the team members pointed towards future areas of study, stating: "Research is now needed to evaluate whether efforts to encourage patients to continue prophylactic treatment with low-dose aspirin will result in a decrease in non-fatal myocardial infarction."