Some Adults Over 60 Should Not Take Low-Dose Aspirin Daily, Panel Says

People over the age of the 60 without heart disease should not take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent a first stroke or heart attack, according to an independent panel of U.S. health experts.

In a draft of new guidelines released online Tuesday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said bleeding risks caused by aspirin outweigh any potential benefits for adults in their 60s who have not had a heart attack or stroke.

Low-dose aspirin has long been recommended for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or other maladies that increase their risks of a heart attack or stroke. 

“Aspirin use can cause serious harms, and risk increases with age,’’ said task force member and Tufts Medical Center primary care expert Dr. John Wong.

Wong said adults of all ages should consult with their doctors before deciding to start or stop taking aspirin, a pain reliever and blood thinner.

If the guidelines are finalized, they would mark a reversal of the group’s 2016 recommendations for preventing a first heart attack and stroke. But they would be more consistent with more recent guidelines issued by other medical organizations.

Public comments on the guidelines are allowed until Nov. 8, after which the group will consider before making a final decision.


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