U-turn in medicine: US authorities no longer recommend aspirin as a preventive measure

The daily intake of aspirin is widespread in the US, also preventively, to reduce the risk of certain diseases. This has also been recommended by a US panel of experts for a number of years. For people over 60 this recommendation is now withdrawn.

A US panel of experts no longer recommends that people over the age of 60 take aspirin daily to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. People between 40 and 59 with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease but no history should consult their doctor and then decide for themselves whether to start taking the drug regularly, the panel said on Tuesday.

The decision of the U.S. Government-appointed Independent Disease Prevention Experts (USPSTF) represents a U-turn in US medicine: In the USA, aspirin is widely used because it has a blood-thinning effect and can thus prevent a clot.

Since 2016, the panel of experts has therefore recommended all people between the ages of 40 and 50 to take the well-known pain reliever from Bayer every day if they are at least ten percent more likely to have a heart attack or sleep attack in the next ten years. In older people with an increased risk, the intake should therefore be decided on an individual basis.

Studies are now calling these recommendations into question. The experts also referred on Tuesday to evidence that the risk of internal bleeding, especially in the brain or intestines, should increase with age if aspirin is taken regularly.

“Can also cause serious damage” More on the subject

“Taking aspirin every day can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, but it can also cause potentially serious harm, such as internal bleeding,” said USPSTF representative John Wong. The drug’s benefits were insufficient to offset this increased risk.

However, the new recommendations are not yet final. They will be open for public discussion until the beginning of November. The previous recommendation for patients who take aspirin after a stroke or heart attack is not affected by the U-turn.