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From vitamins to over-the-counter medications, sometimes the things we take to protect our health may actually be harming it in the long run. As health recommendations and preventive and treatment guidelines evolve, managing your whole health is a dynamic — and ever changing — process that requires open and honest communication between you and your primary care doctor.
Even something as simple as taking a daily dose of aspirin may be harmful to millions of Americans, says a new daily aspirin study from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that reveals some important aspirin news.
How Millions May Be Harmed By Taking Daily Aspirin
This study showed that in 2017, around 29 million people 40 and older were taking daily aspirin with no heart disease and of these, 10 million were taking it for prevention, while 6.6 million were doing so without a doctor’s recommendation.
For years doctors have recommended aspirin to lower the chances of a first heart attack or stroke. But several recent studies have tracked the outcomes of daily aspirin use and have shown minimal (if any) benefits, especially for older adults.
In fact, it may be doing more harm than good in healthy people.
Studies show that routine aspirin users experience significantly more digestive-tract bleeding and other negative aspirin side effects.
New Daily Aspirin Recommendations
While routine aspirin use is still recommended for most people with a history of heart attack, heart disease or stroke, aspirin recommendations for otherwise healthy individuals have changed.
The 2019 guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology rule out daily aspirin use for many healthy older adults with no history of heart disease and younger individuals, unless they have doctor’s orders to do so.
Who Should Avoid Daily Aspirin for Prevention?
People over 70 who don't have heart disease, healthy younger populations, and those that have an increased risk of bleeding are not recommended to take daily aspirin, unless advised by their doctor.
Who Should Take Daily Aspirin for Prevention?
It’s for your doctor to decide, but in general, heart attack survivors are recommended to a daily aspirin dose as prescribed by their doctor.
A doctor may recommend that some 40- to 70-year-olds without a heart disease diagnosis take aspirin daily, or some men and women with other risk factors such as heart attack and stroke.
There’s More to Heart Health Than Aspirin
While popping a pill every day with the hopes to prevent heart disease, heart attack and stroke seems like the magic ticket, there’s a lot more that goes into protecting your heart.
Consider knowing these four numbers to assess your heart health. Your doctor will likely evaluate them to determine whether or not daily aspirin is a good choice for you.
Let Us Guide You Through the New Aspirin Guidelines
If you are one of the millions of Americans now questioning whether or not you should be taking that daily aspirin,turn to one of our heart and vascular care experts to navigate how these guidelines can impact your heart and whole health. We can customize a comprehensive plan to improve your heart health and overall well-being in body, mind and spirit.