Taking low-dose aspirin on regular basis does not prevent heart attack: Report

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Vyomica BerryUpdated: Apr 26, 2022, 09:36 PM IST
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This file photo shows an arrangement of aspirin pills in New York, United States.  Photograph:(Reuters)

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The task force's updated guidelines recommend against starting low-dose aspirin use for the prevention of heart attack in adults who are above 60-years-old

A new report released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on Tuesday (April 26) states taking low-dose aspirin on regular basis has little to no benefit for most adults suffering from heart problems.

In fact, scientists believe that it can lead to internal bleeding inside the stomach or brain as people get older.

Heart attacks are responsible for one in four deaths in the United States making them the lead cause of mortality.

Every year, at least 6,10,000 people experience their first stroke in the US while nearly 6,05,000 suffer their first myocardial infarction.

The USPSTF conducted the study on adults who were older than 40 years and did not have any symptoms of Cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The people tested between the age of 40 to 50 years had a 10 per cent or greater 10-year CVD risk which has a small net benefit.

The task force's updated guidelines recommend against starting low-dose aspirin use for the prevention of heart attack in adults who are above 60-years-old.

According to cardiologist Steven Nissen, “If you’re taking an aspirin a day and you get in a motor vehicle accident, you’re going to bleed more.”

He is the chief academic officer of the Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Group by group, bit by bit, people have come around to the idea that the risks are about equivalent to its benefits for most people,” he told CNN.

His opinion was reiterated by Dr. James Cireddu, medical director of the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Centre, who said "The more data we get, the more we're seeing that even though the risk of coronary disease and heart attack goes up as you get older, the risk of bleeding seems to be going up even faster."

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"When you look at all the studies that have been done recently, it seems that the modest benefit of aspirin and otherwise low-risk individuals is generally negated by the increase in long-term GI problems, bleeding with aspirin," said co-chair of the committee that released guidelines on the same topic by American College of Cardiology or American Heart Association.

"While we said it could be considered to give aspirin to someone who never had a heart attack or stroke, that should probably be the last of the things on the priority list," he added.

In its previous guidelines that were released in 2016, the USPSTF had it recommended that people in their 50s, who are at risk for heart disease, should take baby aspirin to prevent both cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

(With inputs from agencies)