Task force’s draft recommendation says most adults don’t need a daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke

ABC News photo
After years of saying middle-aged and older Americans should take a low-dose aspirin every day to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, the nation’s chief prevention task force now says that isn’t necessary, and that it could even increase the risk of potentially serious side effects like bleeding.

“Our message … is if you don’t have a history of heart attack and stroke, you shouldn’t be starting on aspirin just because you reach a certain age,” Chien-Wen Tseng, a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forcetold The Washington Post. 

The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of experts in disease prevention. Its draft recommendation, now in a public-comment period that must precede final adoption, is against low-dose aspirin use for people 60 and older, and says the decision for people between 40 and 59 would be between themselves and their doctor, warning that “the net benefit of aspirin use in this group is small.”

The draft recommendation would not change guidelines for people who take aspirin to prevent a second heart attack, Dennis Thompson reports for HealthDay.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. America’s Health Rankings reports that 12.1% of Kentucky adults have been told by a health professional that they have some form of heart disease, compared to 8.4% nationwide.
HealthDay reports that new data suggest that “the increased risk of bleeding associated with aspirin use occurs relatively quickly after initiating aspirin,” with the absolute risk of bleeding increasing with age, the task force says in its draft recommendation.

The new advice would make the task force’s guidelines more closely resemble “those of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, which were updated in 2019,” Allyson Chiu writes for the Post. “The ACC/AHA guidelines say that low-dose aspirin ‘might be considered’ for primary prevention in ‘select’ adults between the ages of 40 and 70 who aren’t at increased risk of bleeding. The guidelines also recommend against regular aspirin use in people who are older than 70.”

Previous Article
Next Article