Hold the aspirin! New guidelines show daily regimen is not beneficial for older healthy adults

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FLINT (WJRT) (03/18/19) -- Hold the aspirin! The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have reversed a decades old recommendation that an aspirin a day helps to prevent cardiovascular problems for certain people.

New guidelines released Sunday recommend that a daily aspirin helps to prevent heart attacks or strokes for older healthy adults, mainly those over 70 years of age.

"Aspirin prevents clotting, but on the contrary, it causes a risk of bleeding," said Dr. Uzma Khan, a family physician with McLaren Flint.

The change comes after a large clinical trial found a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people.

"People who are between 40 years to 70 who are at really high risk for stroke or heart attack, they are still a candidate, but we have to individualize the decision."

That means taking a closer look at the patient's health history and other factors to assess whether or not an aspirin a day would be a good choice.

So what if you've been taking a daily aspirin all these years?

"My advice for anyone who is already on aspirin to not stop it yet. Go talk to your doctor, because there are plenty of elements we have to consider before we make a decision."

Either way, whether you continue taking aspirin or not, Dr. Khan says there are things you can do to keep your heart as healthy as possible.

"Weight, so weight is one of the risk factors, smoking, so someone can quit smoking or cut down as much as possible, high blood pressure if it is, then get that treated and keep it under control."

If you have questions or concerns, Dr. Khan recommends contacting your doctor.

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