New guidelines concerning heart health indicate daily low doses of aspirin may not be beneficial to preventing heart disease for people who have no history of the ailment.
The guidelines were recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“For people that have never had a heart attack, never had a stroke, never had a stent, things like that, if they’re older than 70 years old, it might not be recommended to take an aspirin every day,” said cardiologist Dr. Christopher Montgomery of UR Medicine, speaking about the new guidelines.
The recommendations come following research last year that focused on whether daily doses of aspirin could help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease in patients 65-70 or older, and what risks the medication could bring.
“What that trial found is that there’s an increased risk of bleeding in patients that were taking aspirin, but not necessarily a benefit in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Montgomery.
The study found, for those who do not have a history of the disease, living a heart-healthy lifestyle may go further to preventing the illness. That could include at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, efforts to control blood pressure and a vegetable and fruit-filled diet.
However, Montgomery says, this doesn’t mean aspirin should be ruled out altogether.
“There are still certain people that aspirin is going to be beneficial for,” he said, “so what I would say is definitely talk to your doctor before you make any make any changes to any medications that you’re taking. But I think what the guidelines say is that it’s much more important to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, to exercise regularly, to eat healthy than it is to take an aspirin every day to prevent heart disease.”