A daily low-dose aspirin has been touted by many doctors for the prevention of heart attacks. But a new study suggests that it could do more harm than good.
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Harvard researchers recommend millions of people taking aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks so they can stop their daily use.
About 29 million people over 40 years old took aspirin daily Although they had no heart disease, the study published on Monday in 2017 revealed the following:
The study also found that about 6.6 million of them used aspirin alone although a doctor had never recommended it to them. And nearly 10 million people over 70 who have no heart disease took aspirin daily as a preventive measure, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.
If at all, this may occur with routine aspirin use, especially in older adults.
Another study found that taking low-dose aspirin in people without heart disease is associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the skull.
The studies contradict what doctors had recommended for decades: 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin daily to prevent strokes or heart attacks.
"Many patients are confused about this," Dr. Colin O & # 39; Brien, a senior intern in Beth Israel, who led the recent Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center study.
Aspirin is out: Thus, healthy older adults can prevent heart attacks, strokes without pills
The risks of aspirin: Low dose -Aspirin may be associated with bleeding in the skull. Recent Study Results
Recent studies prompted the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to amend their guidelines in March:
– People over 70 who don They have no heart disease or are younger but have an increased risk of bleeding. Avoid daily aspirin for prevention.
– Only certain 40- to 70-year-olds who do not yet have heart disease are exposed to sufficient risk The Harvard study shows how many millions of people who routinely took aspirin in 2017 should take a second look at these guidelines ] "Doctors should be very selective in prescribing ng aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease," said cardiologist Roger Blumenthal, who was not involved in the Harvard study, in a march statement. "It's much more important to optimize your lifestyle and control blood pressure and cholesterol than recommend aspirin."
Although people without a history of heart problems should not take routine aspirin, it is still recommended for heart attack survivors.  The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology state that regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and a diet high in vegetables and low in sugar and trans fat are among the best options for cardiovascular To prevent disease.
We hope that more primary care physicians will talk to their patients about aspirin use and more patients will discuss this with their doctors, "said O & Brien.
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