A major shift in advice to millions of people who take low dose aspirin each day to protect against heart problems.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association are recommending that low-dose aspirin be used strictly on a case by case basis.
The American Heart Association issued this statement to FOX31 saying, “It is recommended that aspirin should only rarely be used to help prevent heart attacks and stroke in people without known cardiovascular disease.”
Cardiologist Chirag Chauhan of Denver Heart at Swedish Medical Center tells FOX31 the new guidelines are based on studies that show a daily dose of aspirin may actually put some patients at risk, “the prevention guidelines basically say aspirin has been shown to increase bleeding in certain patients that take it without offering significant benefit.”
Dr. Chauhan adds that patients should only follow their doctor’s advice and not initiate or discontinue an aspirin regimen on their own.
Dr. Chauhan emphasizes that whether you are on an aspirin regimen or not, a healthy lifestyle is important in protection against heart disease, “trying to avoid the red meats and fatty foods, trans fats that are more detrimental to your cardiovascular system (and) obviously avoiding smoking.”
Exercise is also important. For more information about heart health visit .
The full statement from the American Heart Association can be found below:
According to the 2019 Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease guideline from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), it is recommended that aspirin should only rarely be used to help prevent heart attacks and stroke in people without known cardiovascular disease.
All patients should openly talk with their care team about their current health habits and personal risk for cardiovascular disease and, together, determine the best way to prevent it based on current evidence and personal preferences.
For people who’ve had a heart attack, stroke, open heart surgery or stents placed to open clogged arteries, aspirin can be lifesaving. But regular use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke in healthy people isn’t as clear-cut.
In this guideline, ACC/AHA experts offer science-based guidance that aspirin should only rarely be used to help prevent heart attacks and stroke in people without known cardiovascular disease. Recent research suggests that the chance of bleeding, given the blood-thinning effect of aspirin, may be too high and the evidence of benefit—the number of heart attacks or strokes that are actually prevented—is not sufficient enough to make a daily aspirin worth taking for most adults in this setting.
“Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease,” Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, co-chair of the 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease said. “It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin. Aspirin should be limited to people at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and a very low risk of bleeding.”
Based on a simplified synopsis of the latest ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline, for primary prevention, statins should be commonly recommended with lifestyle changes to prevent cardiovascular disease among people with elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (≥ 190 mg/dl), Type 2 diabetes, and anyone who is deemed to have a high likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack upon reviewing their medical history and risk factors and having a detailed discussion with their clinician.”