Older Adults Should Not Take Aspirin Daily If They Want To Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke – Study

Older adults who do not have heart-related diseases are advised not to take aspirin daily. This would reportedly prevent the occurrence of a first heart attack or stroke.

Heart Attack: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Releases Advisory

According to U.S. News, the United States Preventive Services Task Force released the advisory on Oct. 12. They noted in their advisory that older adults without heart diseases should not take low-dose aspirin daily. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force pointed out that an influential health guidelines group gave them the information thus the advisory.

Further, U.S. News said that the bleeding risks for adults in their 60s and up who did not have a heart attack or stroke yet outweigh the potential benefits from taking aspirin. The task force added that the recommendations were for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or other conditions that could increase their chances of heart attack or a stroke. Aspirin is a form of pain reliever but is also a blood thinner that can reduce the chances of getting blood clots. Aspirin carries risks such as bleeding in the digestive tract or ulcers.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also noted in their advisory that for adults in their 40s, there might be a small benefit in taking low-dose aspirin daily. For adults in their 50s, the evidence of benefit is less clear. A member of the task force, Dr. John Wong, a primary-care expert at Tufts Medical Center, also pointed out that regardless of the age, adults should talk with their doctors regarding aspirin intake as aspirin can cause serious harm and the risks increase with age.

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The Task Force’s Previous Advisory 

In the previous advisory of the task force, they noted that certain people in their 50s and 60s may want to consider taking aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack and stroke. They added that some people might also get protection against colorectal cancer. However, in the updated advisory of the task force, they said that more evidence is necessary to prove aspirin can give benefits regarding colorectal cancer.

The task force also advised that low-dose aspirin may be taken daily by patients who already had a heart attack or stroke. This did not change in the more recent advisory.

The advisory will be open for public comments until Nov. 8 so that the task force can evaluate the comments and make a final advisory later.