Daily Low-dose Aspirin No Longer Recommended For Most Seniors

Daily Low-dose Aspirin No Longer Recommended For Most Seniors

Prior U.S. guidelines had recommended a daily low dose of aspirin - between 75 and 100 milligrams - as a primary method of cardiovascular disease prevention for people with known risk factors.

New guidelines say aspirin should rarely be used to prevent cardiovascular disease.

"Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease", said Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, FACC, and cochair of the 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline, in a press statement.

However, a 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine involving more than 19,000 people, mostly over the age of 70 in Australia and the United States, concluded that a daily low-dose of aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people.

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Instead, people should use statins and make lifestyle changes to prevent cardiovascular disease risk, particularly for people with elevated low-density lipoprotein, LDL, cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes, according to new guidelines from American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

A weak benefit can be provided to adults that ingest aspirin daily, they being at a higher risk of suffering from such cardiovascular diseases, but not necessarily at a more significant risk of bleeding. She emphasized, though, that people who have had heart attacks or have stents should continue with the medication.

How does aspirin prevent a heart attack? For older high-risk patients (folks who have had a stroke, heart attack, or open-heart surgery), it can be life-saving.

Keeping good heart health means maintaining a healthy weight. The AHA says that almost 80 percent of all cardiovascular disease can be prevented with lifestyle modifications, recommending regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar as some of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. That includes walking, swimming, dancing or cycling, or other light aerobic exercises. However, it is no longer being recommended as a preventative measure for older adults.

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