Older adults shouldn't start daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks, experts say

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People age 60 and older should not start taking aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks and strokes because of the increased risk for internal bleeding, according to new draft recommendations.
The benefits of daily aspirin may not outweigh the risks for many older adults, according to new recommendations. File Photo by stevepb/Pixabay

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- People age 60 and older should not start taking aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks and strokes because of an increased risk for internal bleeding, according to new draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released Tuesday.

"Daily aspirin use may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, but it can also cause potentially serious harms, such as internal bleeding," task force member Dr. John Wong said in a press release.

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"It's important that people who are 40 to 59 years old and don't have a history of heart disease have a conversation with their clinician to decide together if starting to take aspirin is right for them," said Wong, chief of clinical decision making at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes recommendations about disease screening, counseling services and preventive medication.

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