People over the age of 60 should no longer consider taking a daily low-dose or baby aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, according to a draft recommendation issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Tuesday.
The announcement marks a change in the 2016 Task Force guidance that recommended aspirin therapy in certain men and women to lower cardiovascular risk. But more recent evidence suggests it also could cause harm, including bleeding in the stomach, intestines, and brain – a risk that increases with age and can be life-threatening.
The task force said people ages 40 to 59 who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease should decide with their clinician whether to start taking aspirin. Once they turn 60, they should not start taking it because the risk of bleeding cancels the benefits of preventing heart disease.