New guidelines recommend against taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent strokes and heart attacks in healthy, older adults. The age-old approach is no longer recommended for older adults who do not have a high risk of heart disease, or who already have it.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced the new guidelines Sunday. The guidelines say doctors may consider aspirin for certain older high-risk patients, including those having trouble lowering their cholesterol or managing blood sugar. That’s as long as there is no increased risk for internal bleeding.
Johns Hopkins University cardiologist Dr. Roger Blumenthal, a co-chair of the new guidelines said, “It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin.” But for anyone who’s had a stroke, heart attack, open-heart surgery or stents inserted to open clogged arteries, aspirin can save their life.