Aspirin has been known to help your health in a number of ways for a long time, but a new study shows that it may also increase the risk of internal bleeding.
The US Preventive Services Task Force has issued new recommendations for those over 60 who want to avoid cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.
Low-dose aspirin has long been a popular preventative measure, but its effectiveness has been called into question as more data has accumulated. Starting daily aspirin in persons 60 and older offers no net benefit and increases the risk of internal bleeding, according to the task group.
According to the task team, who analyzed the most recent studies and assessed the benefits against the dangers, daily aspirin may have a minor net advantage in adults aged 40 to 59.
The scientists also decided that taking aspirin after the age of 75 has minimal advantages.
In the United States, heart disease and stroke are the major causes of death, accounting for more than one in every four deaths. While daily aspirin use has been found to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke, it has also been demonstrated to raise the risk of brain, stomach, and intestine bleeding. Although the risk of a bleeding incident is low in absolute terms, it increases with age.
“Based on current evidence,” according to task force vice chair Dr. Michael Barry, the new findings recommend “against people 60 and older starting to take aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.” As “the chance of internal bleeding increases with age, the potential harms of aspirin use cancel out the benefits in this age group.”
According to Dr. task force member Dr. John Wong, people aged 40 to 59 who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease but are at higher risk of having a first heart attack or stroke may benefit from starting to take aspirin.
Dr. Wong adds: “It’s important that they decide together with their healthcare professional if starting aspirin is right for them because daily aspirin does come with possible serious harms.”
According to Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, “It is important for the public to understand that for the vast majority of Americans without pre-existing heart disease, aspirin does not provide a net benefit. The harms are approximately equal to any benefits. The USPSTF is just catching up with this widely accepted scientific viewpoint. For nearly 20 years the FDA has advised against routine use of aspirin for prevention in patients without heart disease.”
The new guidelines were created for individuals who had not yet begun taking a daily aspirin. People who are already taking daily aspirin should not stop taking it if prescribed by a doctor, according to the experts, and the revised information does not necessarily suggest they should stop.
Dr. Wong stressed that “these recommendations are focused on starting aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. Anyone who already takes aspirin and has questions about it should speak with their healthcare professional”.
People who have had a heart attack, stroke, or other significant cardiovascular problem are not affected by the new guidelines. The advice to take aspirin to prevent themselves from a second incident is still strong.
In recent years, the advice on taking daily aspirin to prevent disease has changed. The preventive services task panel suggested that adults in their 50s who were at risk for heart disease use baby aspirin to prevent both heart disease and colon cancer in 2016.
However, updated recommendations based on new research revealed that the benefits may not outweigh the risks and that frequent screening beginning at the age of 45 is the best way to avoid colon cancer.
Image Credit: Getty
You were reading: Here’s Why An Aspirin a Day Can Actually Be Deadly – New Research