URGENT Update: Aspirin & Heart Attacks



Should we still take aspirin to prevent heart attacks? For years, adults have been told aspirin will help prevent heart attacks or strokes. However, this is no longer the case. Due to recent research, it is recommended for adults without heart disease to stop taking daily low-dose aspirin with the intention to prevent heart disease. But why? Why is it a danger? Most importantly, when should you take aspirin? Luckily, we have all of the answers.

Who Should Avoid Aspirin

Aspirin acts as an anticoagulant, in which the drug helps prevent blood clots. If a blood clot cuts off blood flow to the heart, this could cause a severe heart attack. In addition, a blood clot could also cut off proper blood flow to the brain, resulting in a stroke. For years, it was recommended for senior citizens to take daily low-dose aspirin to lower the risk of these life-threatening blood clots. However, in an updated report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, older adults should stop heeding this advice. Instead of helping individuals, aspirin can cause stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, a burst blood vessel, and harmful allergic reactions. “ can also cause potentially serious harms, such as internal bleeding," said Task Force member Dr. John Wong. Unless advised by a doctor, older adults should stop taking daily low-dose aspirin. According to the report, bleeding risks for senior citizens who have not had a heart attack or stroke outweigh any benefits from taking aspirin.

Who Should Take Aspirin

Aspirin can be beneficial to people, but now it is only recommended to a certain group of individuals: For those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, a medical history with past heart attacks or strokes, or other health conditions that are a risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If this does not pertain to you, you probably shouldn’t take daily low-dose aspirin anymore. Wong advises adults to speak with their doctors before stopping their daily intake of aspirin to make sure this is the right decision. This sudden change could have a rebound effect. Talk to your doctor and take care of your health. You owe it to yourself to stay healthy. *ALWAYS talk to your doctor before starting or stopping an aspirin regimen.