For many years, the belief was that a daily regimen of low-dose, or baby aspirin was recommended for adults as a way to keep heart attacks and strokes at bay. Aspirin also contains anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a blood thinner to prevent clots. This may be changing however. The US Preventive Services Task Force says that for a certain group, this is no longer the case. Data gathered from recent studies indicate that the risk of internal bleeding from taking an OTC drug daily outweighs the benefits for adults over 60.
Dr. Darrel Gumm, an OSF HealthCare cardiologist and vice president of the OSF HealthCare cardiovascular service line says that primary prevention is not having a heart attack in the first place.
Dr. Gumm says that aspirin is still recommended most of the time.
Dr. Gumm syas that while the guidelines may seem new, the research is not. Medical recommendations and guidelines often change as scientists and physicians continue their studies.
The USPSTF advises that high risk patients under the age of 60 who haven’t had a heart attack and are looking for a primary prevention method consult with a doctor before starting on an aspirin regiment. He warns not to start or stop any medication, even something as simple as a low-dose aspirin without first consulting with your physician.
Find more information along with links to studies and opportunities at the USPSTF’s website.