People who are at risk of having a stroke or heart attack would benefit from taking aspirin every day, according to new recommendations.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reported that 50 to 59 year-old individuals who regularly take low doses of aspirin daily could experience a reduction in their stroke and heart disease risks.
- In addition, the panel also discovered that people may benefit from reduction in colorectal cancer risk if they take aspirin for 10 years or more.
The USPSTF used a risk calculator created by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, applying it to numerous studies that assessed the link between daily low-dose aspirin use and cardiovascular risk.
The medical experts also analyzed the risk of colorectal cancer among daily low-dose aspirin users as well as the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, common side effect of long-term aspirin use.
The study showed that the benefits of low dose-aspirin are smaller for adults aged 60-69. Thus, the researchers advised that the decision to take daily aspirin for this age group should be based on patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease and bleeding.
“People aged 50-69 should talk with their doctor about their risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of bleeding, and discuss whether taking aspirin is right for them,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbings-Domingo, Vice Chair of the USPSTF and professor of Medicine at University of California – San Francisco.
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied requests to label aspirin for the use of heart attack and stroke prevention.
Aspirin is widely used as a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medication. It also acts as an antiplatelet drug, which means it can reduce the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke by preventing the formation of clots. It is also part of the post-heart attack and post-stroke treatment regime in order to prevent recurrence. IMAGE/Tim Boyle/ Getty Images