The case for daily aspirin

The case for daily aspirin

A daily aspirin may help to reduce heart ailments and colorectal cancer, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) study.

Their recommendation, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, applies to those men and women in their 50s who are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Risk factors include high blood pressure, a family history of heart attack or stroke, high cholesterol and a history of smoking.

However, these men and women should only take a low-dose aspirin – 81 milligrams daily – if the risk of heart disease is greater than the risk of complications associated with a daily dose of aspirin, such as bleeding in the stomach and brain. Due to the potential of these complications, those with bleeding disorders should not follow this recommendation.

Dr. Imran Ali, a cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at Trinity Hospital in Chicago, notes that while there have been successful outcomes in patients taking daily aspirin, everyone has a varied health history, so there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation for every patient and every age group.

“Before starting any new regimen, such as a daily aspirin, I advise people to speak with their cardiologist or primary care physician first,” says Dr. Ali.

The USPSTF recommends the use of daily aspirin for men ages 45 to 79 years old to fight against heart ailments and colorectal cancer, saying it outweighs the potential harm of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.

In addition, they recommend daily aspirin for women ages 55 to 79 years old to reduce the possibility of strokes.

Individuals in their 60s who are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease may also take a daily low-dose aspirin, but researchers determined the benefit for this age group to be smaller. It is important to consider the fact that bleeding risk increases as an individual ages, says Dr. Ali.

Overall, “The Task Force found that for 50 to 69 year-olds at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, taking aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and strokes as well as colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Douglas Owens, a former member of the Task Force who led the review, in a news release.

The USPSTF stated there was not enough evidence to determine benefits or risk of a daily aspirin in people younger than 50 or older than 70. The American Diabetes Association also suggests low-dose aspirin therapy for primary prevention in patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes who have an increased cardiovascular risk.

Related Posts

Comments

3 Comments

  1. Angie Hatchett April 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm · Reply

    Hi, I was put on a low dose 81mg aspirin by my primary doctor after i had a mild stroke in june 2015, however i am unable to take the aspirin i have a reaction to them. After i take them my stomach gets quezy and i get very shakey and nausea. Is there another medication that my doctor can prescribe for me?

  2. My primary care physician, D. Litoff-Advocate Care, has been provided me excellent care for the past 40 years. I’ve been on low dose aspirin for nearly 25 years, thanks to Dr. Litoff. He is absolutely superb. My thanks to him & Advocate Care.

  3. If you do have a bottle of aspirin? just take a moment and smell it. If it smells like vinegar than it’s time too get a fresh bottle of aspirin. I also read that if one develops ringing in the ears such as tinnitus, that stopping aspirin may be a good idea. I have experienced both things I’ve mentioned. I will take an 81 mg aspirin every other day instead of daily, tinnitus can limit how well you can hear. Too bad there’s no real cure for tinnitus. Try to eat fiber and don’t drink and smoke and your colon will be happy.

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.