Should you stop taking a daily aspirin for your heart?

Prominent task force now recommends people over 60 not start a daily low-dose aspirin regimen

Daily aspirin regimen to prevent heart attacks , may do more harm than good, panel says.For years, taking a low dose of aspirin daily has been recommended to prevent heart attack and stroke.but on Oct. 12, an independent panel of experts issued a new guidance.The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released an updated draft recommendation stating that while a low-dose aspirin regimen can reduce the risk of cardiac events and stroke, .it also “increases [the risk of] major GI bleeding, extracranial bleeding and intracranial bleeding.”.The panel suggests that adults in their 40s and 50s only take aspirin as a preventative measure if they are at a higher risk for heart disease.The panel suggests that adults in their 40s and 50s only take aspirin as a preventative measure if they are at a higher risk for heart disease.Otherwise, the benefit is small versus the risk of developing bleeding problems.Those who are 60 and older are now advised to not take aspirin to prevent first heart attacks or strokes.But if they've already had heart attacks or strokes, it is still recommended for those ages 60 and up to take aspirin preventively. .According to a study from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 29 million adults in the U.S. take aspirin daily despite having no history of heart disease.Talk to your doctor if you're unsure about starting or continuing a daily aspirin regimen.

If you’ve been taking a daily aspirin to help reduce your chances of a heart attack or stroke, you might be able to stop.

Preliminary recommendations made last year by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force became final this week. The advisory group now says — in most cases — people age 60 and older should not begin taking a low-dose aspirin each day to prevent heart problems. Exceptions are when a doctor recommends it.

People between the ages of 40 and 59 should consult their doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen, the task force recommends.

“If you are really healthy, if you’re a healthy 40-year-old with no major risk factors, you will do more harm than good with daily aspirin. Your risk of bleeding will exceed the benefits,” Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in creating the new guidelines, told CNN. “People need to understand that aspirin is not a completely benign or innocent therapy.”

The task force previously said certain people in their 50s and 60s might want to consider a daily aspirin to prevent a first heart attack and stroke, and that they might get protection against colorectal cancer. The updated guidance says more evidence of any benefit for colorectal cancer is needed.

“In secondary prevention, aspirin is important. If you have a stent, if you’ve had a myocardial infarction or a stroke, for all of those people, aspirin works. It provides a modest but definite benefit,” Nissen told CNN.

The task force is an independent panel of disease-prevention experts that analyzes medical research and literature and issues periodic advice on measures to help keep Americans healthy.

Aspirin is best known as a pain reliever but it’s also a blood thinner that can reduce the chances of blood clots forming. But aspirin also has risks, even at low doses — mainly bleeding in the digestive tract or ulcers, both of which can be life-threatening.

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