Changes in guidance reflect evidence that risks of internal bleeding outweigh benefits for people age 60 and older, says draft recommendation
The US Preventive Services Task Force, which reviews the evidence and provides guidance for preventive health services, said in a draft recommendation Tuesday that people in their 40s and 50s should talk to their doctor about whether they have a heart attack. There is a greater risk of developing the disease or stroke. Is daily aspirin right for them. Evidence suggests the net benefit is small, the task force said.
The draft recommendation will be open for comment in the next month or so before the task force issues a final recommendation.
The task force recommended in 2016 that adults aged 50 to 59 with an increased risk of heart disease or colorectal cancer and without increased risk of bleeding, among other factors, take low-dose daily aspirin. The task force then said that decisions should be made on an individual basis for people in their 60s.
The task force said research published after the 2016 recommendation found that for people 60 and older, the risk of bleeding outweighs the benefits of preventing heart disease, but not starting aspirin at age 40. Some people may benefit from it.
“The latest evidence is clear: starting a daily aspirin regimen in people age 60 or older is not recommended to prevent an earlier heart attack or stroke,” said Chien-Wen Tseng, a task force member and Director of Research in the department said. Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Hawaii. “However, this task force recommendation is not for people who are already taking aspirin for a previous heart attack or stroke; they should continue to do so unless told otherwise by their physician.”
The new draft recommendation focuses solely on heart disease and says more research needs to be done regarding the use of aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer.