Aspirin is no longer recommended for the prevention of first heart attack and stroke for most adults over the age of 60 2022-04-26 10:01:17

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The new guidelines do not change for people who have had a heart attack.

For years, doctors have recommended that people in their 50s start taking a baby aspirin every day to protect against heart attacks and strokes. But in recent years, with new evidence of the potential harm of daily aspirin, health experts Converted those recommendations.

In key new guidelines, the Influential Physicians’ Task Force no longer recommends a daily aspirin to prevent first heart attack or stroke in people 60 and older. Meanwhile, the new guidelines said people aged 40 to 59 should take it only if they have a high risk of cardiovascular disease, and in consultation with a doctor. Experts conclude that continuing to take aspirin after age 75 is minimal.

The new guidelines come from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an influential physician group that helps guide medical best practice.

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States, accounting for more than one in four deaths. While daily aspirin use has been shown to reduce the chance of a first heart attack or stroke, it can also increase the risk of bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines. Although the absolute risk of bleeding is low, the risk increases with age.

Michael Barry, MD, professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, told ABC News: “Based on current evidence, the task force recommends against people 60 and older to start taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. first”. “Because the chance of internal bleeding increases with age, the potential harms of aspirin use negate the benefits in this age group.”

“People aged 40 to 59 with no history of cardiovascular disease but at higher risk may benefit from starting to take aspirin to prevent their first heart attack or stroke,” said task force member Dr. John Wong, provisionally The chief scientific officer and professor of medicine at Tufts Medical Center told ABC News. “It is important that they decide with their health care professional if starting aspirin is right for them because taking a daily aspirin does not come with potentially serious harm.”

“It is important for the public to understand that for the vast majority of Americans who do not have pre-existing heart disease, aspirin provides no net benefit. The harms are roughly equal to any benefits. The USPSTF has been keeping pace with this widely accepted scientific point of view: For nearly 20 years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised against the routine use of aspirin to prevent patients without heart disease, Dr. Steven Nissen, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told ABC News.

The new recommendations were aimed at people who had not yet started taking a daily aspirin. The expert panel did not issue guidelines for people who already take a daily aspirin, and the updated news doesn’t necessarily mean people should stop taking it if a doctor prescribes it.

“We want to emphasize that these recommendations focus on starting aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke,” Wong said. “Anyone who is already taking aspirin and has questions about it should speak to their healthcare professional.”

The new guidelines do not change for people who have had a heart attack, stroke, or other major cardiovascular problems. The recommendation to use aspirin to protect them from a second event remains strong.

Recommendations for taking a daily aspirin to prevent disease have changed in recent years. In 2016, the Preventive Services Task Force recommended that people in their 50s at risk of heart disease take pediatric aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. But updated recommendations based on additional research find that the benefits may not outweigh the risks, and conclude that the best way to prevent colon cancer is routine screening beginning at age 45.

Dr. Chinese Akosuba is a resident physician in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

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