Millions of people taking aspirinmay need to rethink pills, according to Harvard researchers. A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and have been diagnosed with heart disease. But for the otherwise healthy, this advice was lifted.
The guidelines issued this year precluded the routine use of aspirin for many older adults who do not yet have heart disease – and said that this only applies to certain younger people by order of the doctor.
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And nearly half of over-70s who have no heart disease – an estimated 10 million – took aspirin daily for prevention Researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.
"Many patients are confused about this," Dr. Colin O & # 39; Brien, a senior internist in Beth Israel, who led the study.
After all, for years, doctors urged people to use the blood-thinning properties of aspirin to lower the likelihood of a first heart attack or stroke. Last year, three surprising new studies questioned this dogma. These studies were among the largest and longest studies in which aspirin was tested in people with a low and moderate risk of heart attack, with little benefit, especially in older adults. However, aspirin users had significantly more digestive tract bleeding and some other side effects.
In March, these results led to a change in the guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology:
- Individuals over 70 who have no heart disease or are younger but have an increased risk of bleeding should avoid doing so daily aspirin for prevention.
- Only certain 40- to 70-year-olds who do not yet have heart disease have a sufficient risk of consuming 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin daily, and a doctor has to decide that.
For heart attack survivors, nothing has changed: aspirin is still recommended.
"One Hundred Percent, So Take Aspirin for Chest Pain,"in September. "After a cardiac event, it's clear that you need to continue taking aspirin, regardless of your age, if your doctor says it's appropriate for your situation."
However, it is impossible to know how many otherwise healthy people have learned about the amended recommendations.
O & Brien said.