Too many older Americans take aspirin daily

Amy Norton Health Day Reporter

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (HealthDay News)

Many older people still take their baby every day aspirin Get rid of for the first time heart Problem — A new study has discovered, despite the guidelines that currently discourage it.

Researchers found that half to 62% of U.S. adults over the age of 70 use low doses aspirin To reduce the risk of Heart disease Or stroke..And the use of aspirin was also common among people with no medical history Cardiovascular disease — A group in which drugs can be more harmful than good.

The authors of the study estimated that nearly 10 million Americans in that category use aspirin.

Dr. Rita Kalyani, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said the numbers were concerned.

She said current guidelines generally discourage people over the age of 70 from using aspirin on a daily basis for first-time prophylaxis. heart attack Or stroke..

This is partly because aspirin is not benign. Aspirin is at risk of bleeding even in the gastrointestinal tract and even the brain. This is usually a risk that increases with age.And some recent studies have failed to show that low doses of aspirin actually reduce the probability of first-time use. heart attack Or stroke..

Aspirin heart champion.

Dr. Wilson Pace, Chief Medical Officer of the DARTNet Institute in Aurora, Colorado, said:

What is clear, according to Pace, is that aspirin can benefit known people. Cardiovascular disease — Cardiovascular blockage or medical history heart attack Or stroke..

Where things get ambiguous Prevention Of the first heart attack stroke..

A few years ago, Pace said guidelines were issued that “strongly support” low-dose aspirin for people who are considered to be at high risk of developing the disease. Heart disease In the next 10 years ( smoking, High blood pressure Or Diabetes).

However, based on recent research, the idea has changed.

Currently, according to the latest guidelines from the American College of Cardiology / American College of Cardiology, aspirin can be considered for “selected” patients aged 40-70 years who are not at high risk of bleeding.

For the elderly, the guidelines warn against the use of “daily” aspirin for the primary Prevention..

It’s like a “hedge” because aspirin may be a reasonable choice for older people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, Pace said.

But most of the time, he said, they don’t need medication for primary prevention.

“When you are 75 years old Diabetes, I won’t start you with aspirin, “Pace said.

He said: Statins, Lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, “Clearly helps prevent primary disease.”

Of course, the pace was added, many older adults in aspirin actually started taking it years ago. He advised those patients to talk to their doctor about whether it was still needed.

Pace wrote an editorial published in the June 21st study JAMA network open..

The findings are based on more than 7,100 US adults aged 60 and over who participated in the Federal Health Survey.

Prophylactic use of aspirin was common among people in their 70s. Diabetes 48.5% of those who used or did not use aspirin Diabetes..

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In fact, some participants had a history of cardiovascular disease, but most did not. Still, aspirin usage was high, the findings showed.

Of all study participants without risk factors for cardiovascular problems, 20% were taking aspirin.And the only risk factor is DiabetesAccording to the report, 43% were taking aspirin.

However, the guidelines do not recommend the use of aspirin in adults over the age of 70. Diabetes..

Kalyani agreed that older people who have been taking aspirin for years should consult their doctor to see if it is still justified.

The decision to use prophylactic aspirin “must be left to the individual,” she said. That is, the patient should consult a doctor about the personal risk of a heart attack. stroke, And the risk of bleeding.

It is also important to consider whether you are doing other things to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as taking or controlling statins. High blood pressure With medication and lifestyle changes, she added.

Aspirin is readily available over the counter, Pace pointed out that people might mistakenly assume that it is harmless. But he said he shouldn’t start using it to prevent illness without first consulting a doctor.

For more information

More American Heart Association Aspirin and heart disease.

Source: Rita Kalyani, MD, Associate Professor, Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Wilson Pace, MD, Chief Medical Officer, DARTNet Institute, Aurora, Colorado. JAMA network open, June 21, 2021, online

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Too many older Americans take aspirin daily

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