The US Preventive Services Task Force is deciding whether to change recommendations for daily aspirin use to prevent heart disease in adults.
On Tuesday, the task force released draft statement pointing to the new information led participants to conclude “with moderate confidence” that adults aged 40 to 59 who were at higher risk of cardiovascular disease but did not have a history of heart attack or stroke should consult their doctor on whether to start taking low-dose aspirin as a preventative measure.
Adults age 60 and older were advised not to start taking aspirin because the target group found that the benefits it brought in preventing heart disease were not enough to offset its risks of causing internal bleeding.
The new guidelines only apply to adults who are not currently taking daily aspirin to prevent heart disease. Patients already taking aspirin daily should talk to their doctor. Clinicians should consider factors such as age, risk of heart disease, and risk of bleeding to determine whether patients should start their daily aspirin intake as recommended.
Download the Modern Healthcare app to stay on top of industry news.
The task force recommended that patients who are already taking aspirin consider discontinuing their use after age 75, as the benefits diminish as the risk of bleeding increases in the elderly.
“The latest evidence is clear that starting daily aspirin in people over 60 is not recommended to prevent a first heart attack or stroke,” said task force member Dr. Chien-Wen Zeng, director of research at the Family Department. Medicine and Public Health at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine in a released statement. “However, this target group recommendation is not intended for people who are already taking aspirin for a heart attack or stroke — they should continue to do so unless their doctor tells them otherwise.”
The new manual, after revision, will replace 2016 Recommendations which encouraged patients over 50 with a 10% or higher risk of cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years to start taking low-dose aspirin daily. Adults 60 to 69 years old were advised to speak with their doctor before starting their daily aspirin intake, and the decision to do so was individual.
Heart disease and stroke remain the leading causes of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated one in three deaths. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… Aspirin reduces blood clotting, making it less likely that a blood clot will form in your arteries, which will stop blood flow to your heart.
The clinical benefits of aspirin in preventing cardiovascular disease were first discovered in the 1940s. However, there was more evidence that the drug’s prophylactic effect outweighed its potential risks in patients who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke. Less was known about the benefits of aspirin for preventing cardiovascular events than about its risks.
The new guidance is more closely aligned with the guidance released in 2019. American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association it says adults between the ages of 40 and 75 should be assessed for their risk of cardiovascular disease and consult a doctor before taking any preventative drugs, including statins or aspirin.