Preventative Services Task Force changing recommendation on taking aspirin to prevent heart disease, stroke

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is changing its recommendation on taking aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke.

You might have heard it from grandma or grandpa, mom and dad or maybe even your medical doctor, “a daily dose of aspirin could help prevent heart attack or stroke.”

The task force now says those older than 60 who do not have a history of heart disease should not take aspirin.

Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said, “The benefits are smaller now to start aspirin to prevent the first heart attack stroke. They are still there.”

The panel also recommends adults 40 to 59 years old, who are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, to talk with their doctor first before taking aspirin.

“If somebody’s actually started taking aspirin already or is on aspirin because they’ve had a heart attack or stroke. We definitely don’t want them to stop.”  Explained Tseng.

“All of the other organizations out there have fallen in line with these recommendations, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and a very strong message from the Food and Drug Administration that aspirin is not really indicated to prevent heart disease in people that don’t already have it.” Explained Dr. Steven Nissen with Cleveland Clinic.

The panel says the potential harms cancel out the benefits. A risk: internal bleeding which increases with age.

Approximately one in four people die of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the us.

Note, currently, these are draft recommendations. Talk with your doctor.

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