Taking daily aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke should no longer be recommended in the United States for people 60 and older, a panel of American experts said Tuesday.
As for people aged 40 to 59, at risk but without a history of cardiovascular disease, they must individually make the decision to start this treatment, after consulting their doctor, these experts add.
This is a radical change in the issue, which worries millions of people, since the practice is widespread in the country.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Since 2016, experts from the US Preventive Services Task Force, whose recommendations are widely followed, have recommended aspirin for people in their 50s with an assessed risk of 10% of heart attack or stroke in the next ten years .
They also believed that 60-year-olds at risk could take this preventive treatment based on an individual decision.
But for several years, studies have questioned the American recommendations.
Aspirin thins the blood, which prevents clots and helps reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
On Tuesday, however, experts deemed these benefits not enough to offset the increased risk of bleeding in older people, especially in the brain or intestines.
“Daily use of aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some, but it can also cause serious adverse effects, such as internal bleeding,” said Dr. John Wong, a member of the hospital, in a statement. Task Force.
“It’s important for people ages 40 to 59 who don’t have a history of heart disease to have a conversation with their doctor to decide together if starting aspirin is right for them,” he said.
These new recommendations are not yet final, and are first subject to a public discussion period until early November.
They do not apply to people taking aspirin after having had a stroke or heart attack, according to the statement.
It is estimated that each year about 600,000 Americans suffer from a first heart attack and about 610,000 from a first stroke.
Taking aspirin to reduce this risk is often started spontaneously by Americans.
Thus, according to a 2017 study, 23.4% of adults aged 40 and over without cardiovascular disease took aspirin as a preventive measure, of which 22.8% did so without the recommendation of a health professional.
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