Daily aspirin no longer recommended to prevent heart attacks in older adults

Studies show benefit of aspirin no longer outweighs the risk

By Frank McGeorge, MD - Medical Expert

DETROIT - It all comes down to benefit versus risk with even a low dose daily of aspirin.  There have been studies in recent years that have set the stage for the most recent guideline -- a daily low dosen of aspirin is no longer recommended to prevent heart attack or stroke in most adults

For healthy low risk adults who have never had a heart, or cardiovascular, problem -- the use of aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke is no longer indicated -- because the benefit no longer outweighs the risk -- that's according to a new review by both the american college of cardiology and american heart association.

Here is why. Sticky platelets contribute to heart attack and stroke -- aspirin works by keeping platelets from sticking together. 

The problem is aspirin also irritates the stomach and increases the risk of bleeding - on top of it less sticky platelets can lead to more bleeding.

The guidelines say doctors may consider aspirin for certain older high-risk patients. Including those having trouble lowering their cholesterol or managing blood sugar.

And according to doctor Deidre Mattina, a Henry Ford Hospital cardiologist. There is still a role for aspirin in other select people. 

Those patients who have met with their physicians and they have known heart disease or had a cardiovascular event those are the people that definitely benefit form continued low dose aspirin therapy. 

The guidelines suggest rather than turing to aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke everyone should be smarter about their health in general. 

Think the guidelines really are emphasizing the things we already know that our drugs for high blood pressure and cholesterol are working very well so when we combine that with other lifestyle measures like quitting smoking which causes high nflammation and eating a balanced diet and getting a lot of exercise we are well on our way to reducing heart disease. 

The bottom line is based on an overview of the latest information, you should not take an aspirin a day if you are only using it to prevent heart attack or stroke if you are at a low risk and especially not if you have a bleeding risk or stomach irritation.

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