A US panel of experts has recommended that people aged 60 and over who are at risk of heart disease should not start taking a daily low-dose aspirin to prevent their first heart attack because the risks of internal bleeding outweigh the benefits.
The US Preventive Services Task Force said it plans to update its recommendations for 2016 in light of new evidence that the risk of life-threatening internal bleeding from regular aspirin use increases with age.
The team, made up of 16 independent experts in disease prevention appointed by the US Department of Health, also said there was insufficient evidence to conclusive that low-dose aspirin use reduced the incidence or death of colorectal cancer.
If approved, the recommendation would replace a previous one by the same committee, which said in 2016 that daily low-dose aspirin may also help protect against colorectal cancer in people who take it to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
The new recommendation does not include people who have had a heart attack or stroke and take a daily aspirin to prevent later cardiovascular complications.
Necessity to consult a doctor
Aspirin, which has been used for decades to relieve pain and fever and is available over the counter, is an easy and cheap option to help people at risk of serious heart problems.
The researchers evaluated the use of a daily low-dose aspirin for people who had no history of heart disease but were at high risk for health problems such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
“It is important for those aged 40 to 59 with no history of heart disease to consult a physician to decide if aspirin is appropriate for them,” John Wong, a member of the expert panel, said in a statement.
As for the age group from 50 to 59 years, the Preventive Services Task Force had previously recommended that aspirin should only be used by those whose risk of heart attack or stroke during the next ten years of their life was not less than ten percent, or who did not face a higher than average risk. to have a hemorrhage.