If you’re one of the millions of people who pop an aspirin daily for preventative heart health, many of you can stop now, Harvard researchers reported earlier this week.
Taking a daily, low-dose aspirin is part of – and continues to be – the program for people who have already had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease.
But for everyone else, the guidelines have changed, after three major clinical trials exposed a risk of bleeding from daily aspirin use. In a report published earlier this week, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center revealed new 2019 guidelines for aspirin use.
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Older adults (70+) who don’t have heart problems taking aspirin daily for preventative reasons is unnecessary.
For younger people 40-70 who may be at some sort of risk, it’s on a case-by-case basis – in other words, see your doctor.
Aspirin is still recommended daily for those who have had a heart attack.
The latest data from Harvard in 2017 found that 29 million people 40 and above were taking aspirin daily – even though they have no known heart disease. The information came from a study from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Interestingly, they found that 6.6 million of these aspirin-takers who doing it on their own, not under the recommendation of a doctor.
And nearly half of people over 70 who don’t have heart disease — estimated at about 10 million — were taking daily aspirin for prevention, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.
It’s a serious case of confusion – what aspirin can do, what it can’t, who needs to be taking a daily dose and who doesn’t.
Study co-author, Stephen Juraschek, MD, Ph.D., a primary care physician at BIDMC, cautions that “these findings are applicable to adults who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease or stroke. If you are currently taking aspirin, discuss it with your doctor to see if it is still needed for you.”