Daily Aspirin No Longer Recommended to Prevent Heart Attacks

Alicia Farmer
March 19, 2019

Taking a low-dose aspirin every day has always been known to cut the chances of another heart attack, stroke or other heart problem in people who already have had one, but the risks don't outweigh the benefits for most other folks according to new guidelines.

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

For years, millions of adults followed recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to take baby aspirin daily to reduce their risk of heart disease.

Find out more about the new guidance in the video above.

However, participants taking low-dose aspirin daily were more likely to have bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and brain. "This makes the biggest difference, probably negating any previously perceived aspirin benefit in primary prevention".

The bottom line, according to Blumenthal: "Aspirin should be limited to people at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and a very low risk of bleeding".

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A co-chair of the new guidelines said, "It's much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin". The guidelines do not change the role of aspirin during a suspected heart attack as directed by a doctor.

"My whole life growing up you saw the take an aspirin a day to prevent a heart attack and that's how most of us thought, but we are re-thinking about it now", Doctor Troy Leo said.

Using aspirin in younger age groups "is now a class 2b recommendation", Campbell said, "meaning that it is not necessarily the best course of action; there is much debate among experts, and the data is not definitive".

And according to doctor Deidre Mattina, a Henry Ford Hospital cardiologist.

The ACC and AHA say regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar and trans fats are among the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease.

"Statins should be commonly recommended with lifestyle changes to prevent cardiovascular disease among people with elevated low density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol levels at or above 190 mg/dl", the two groups explained in the statement.

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