An prominent health guidelines body said in tentative updated advice posted Tuesday that older persons without heart disease shouldn’t use daily low-dose aspirin to avoid a first heart attack or stroke.
The danger of bleeding outweighs any potential advantages from aspirin for persons in their 60s and above who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force’s draft guidance.
The panel stated for the first time that there may be a slight benefit for adults in their 40s who are not at danger of bleeding. The panel lowered its recommendation for persons in their 50s, stating that the evidence of benefit is less apparent.
People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or other diseases that enhance their risk of heart attack or stroke should follow the guidelines. Adults should see their doctors before discontinuing or taking aspirin, regardless of age, to ensure that it is the best option for them, according to task force member Dr. John Wong, a primary-care expert at Tufts Medical Center.
He remarked, “Aspirin use can produce substantial consequences, and the danger grows with age.”
The guidance for older persons, if finalized, would revert to the panel’s 2016 recommendations for preventing a first heart attack and stroke, although it would be in line with more current suggestions from other medical organisations.
For many patients who have already experienced a heart attack or stroke, doctors have long prescribed daily low-dose aspirin. This suggestion is not altered by the task force’s recommendations.
The task committee originally stated that a daily aspirin may prevent certain adults in their 50s and 60s from colorectal cancer, but the amended guideline states that further proof of any benefit is needed.
The guidance was made available online for public feedback until November 8th. The group will assess the information and make a final judgment.
The impartial panel of disease-prevention experts reviews medical research and literature and makes recommendations on how to keep Americans healthy on a regular basis. The updated recommendation was motivated by newer studies and a re-analysis of prior evidence, according to Wong.
Aspirin is well recognized for its painkilling properties, but it is also a blood thinner that can help prevent blood clots. However, even at modest doses, aspirin has side effects, the most serious of which are gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers, both of which can be fatal.
The guidance is crucial, according to Dr. Lauren Block, an internist-researcher at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, because many adults take aspirin even though they have never had a heart attack or stroke.
Because of the risks, Block, who is not on the task force, recently moved one of her patients from aspirin to a cholesterol-lowering statin medicine.
Richard Schrafel, 70, has high blood pressure and is aware of his danger of having a heart attack. Schrafel, the president of a paperboard distribution company, claims he has never been harmed by aspirin, but he is taking the new advice carefully.
Rita Seefeldt, 63, has high blood pressure and took an aspirin every day for about a decade until her doctor told her to stop two years ago.
“He stated they changed their minds on it,” recalled the Milwaukee-based retired elementary school teacher. She stated that she is aware of the fact that science is constantly changing.
Wong noted that the backtracking may irritate some patients, who may question why scientists can’t come to a decision.
He responded, “It’s a legitimate question.” “The most important thing to remember is that evidence evolves over time.”