For years, a daily aspirin has been a part of life for many seniors. However, that is changing with the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announcement that it no longer recommends this measure in adults 60 years and over. Based on current evidence, the USPSTF says that the risks of daily low-dose aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outweigh the benefits in this age group.
In the panel’s last update from 2016, the group urged clinicians and patients to weigh the risks and benefits of preventive therapy on a case-by-case basis in the 60 and over population.
The revised guidance also lowers the age of initial use of aspirin for at-risk adults to age 40 from 50. In a published statement, the panel stated, “The decision to initiate low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD in adults aged 40 to 59 years who have a 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk should be an individual one.” However, USPSTF also stressed, “Evidence indicates that the net benefit of aspirin use in this group is small. Persons who are not at increased risk for bleeding and are willing to take low-dose aspirin daily are more likely to benefit.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the nation and accounts for more than 1 in 4 deaths. Every year, approximately 605,000 people in the U.S. experience a first myocardial infarction and about 610,000 have a first stroke.
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