Aspirin Now Recommended for Patients at High Risk for Heart Disease

A U.S-backed panel of independent medical experts are not recommended a daily low-dose of aspirin for people between the ages of 50-59 at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition to preventing heart attack and stroke, some people may also reduce their risk of colon cancer if they take aspirin for at least 10 years. This was stated by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This recommendation is more narrow than the group's previous recommendation which segmented out the guidelines based on gender. 



These changes are based on an inclusion of the risk of colon cancer as well as four additional clinical trials with the use of aspirin since 2009. The people we recommend taking aspirin are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and are not at an increased risk of bleeding complications. Contrary to these narrower guidelines, the FDA rejected labeling aspirin for preventing heart attacks and stroke just last year. 


The task force looked at the broader benefits of the drug and likely more evidence. But this new recommendation is for people expected to live at least 10 years and at a 10 percent greater risk of heart attack or stroke during that time. Their risk is based on the American Heart Association's calculator which takes into account cholesterol and blood pressure. 

For at-risk people aged 60 to 69 years, the guidelines say the benefit is not as large compared to people ages 50 to 59 years, and decisions to take aspirin should be made on a case by case basis.

The group said it did not have enough data to determine whether people aged 50 or younger and people aged 70 or older should take daily low-dose aspirin.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the task force’s recommendations are used to help set health insurance reimbursement policies.