According to a draft recommendation issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force Tuesday, people over the age of 60 should not consider taking a low dose or baby aspirin daily to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
This announcement marks a change in the 2016 Task Force guidance, which has recommended that aspirin therapy in some men and women reduce cardiovascular risk. But recent evidence suggests that it can cause damage, including bleeding in the stomach, intestines, and brain — increasing the risk of aging and life.
The task force said that those aged 40 to 59 who were at risk for cardiovascular disease should decide with their doctor about aspirin intake. After completing 60 years for them, they should not start taking it because the risk of bleeding cancels out the benefits of preventing heart disease.
The new recommendation applies only to people who don’t already take daily aspirin. Doctors recommend low-dose aspirin every day for many patients who have had a heart attack or stroke. Workforce guidance does not replace that advice.
“Daily aspirin use may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, but it can also cause serious damage, such as internal bleeding,” says Dr. Tufts, a primary care specialist at Tufts Medical Center. Said John Wong. “It is important that people between the ages of 40 and 59 and those with no history of heart disease begin to consult with their doctor to determine if it is right for them to start taking aspirin.”
The task force has previously stated that daily aspirin protects people in their 50s and 60s from colorectal cancer, but updated guidance says more evidence is needed for such a benefit.
The guidance has been posted online to allow for public comment until November 8. The group evaluates that input and then makes the final recommendation.
New recommendations have emerged not only from emerging research suggesting the potential harm of aspirin, but also from advances in cardiovascular therapy, according to Dr. Carnegie of Northwell Health’s Cardiovascular Health and Lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital. Guy L. Said Mintz.
There are now better drugs for cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes that can reduce cardiovascular risk, improve heart failure and kidney function, he said. There are many tools to identify and treat insulin resistance and sleep apnea that affect heart health, as well as stopping smoking.
“With all these developments, the need for aspirin has been denied in all patients,” Mintz said. “There is an advantage to aspirin use in some patients, which is why aspirin patients should not discontinue their aspirin and contact their doctor.”
Aspirin is well known as an analgesic but it is a blood thinner that reduces the chance of blood clots. It also has low risks – mainly bleeding in the digestive tract or blood vessels, both of which pose a risk to life.
Contribution: Associated Press. Follow Adriana Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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