Aspirin is no longer recommended to prevent a first heart attack or stroke among those 60 years and older, according to new guidance from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
The USPSTF published on Tuesday a final recommendation statement on Aspirin use to prevent heart disease and stroke, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The new guidance states that people between the ages of 40 and 59 should decide with their healthcare professional whether to start taking Aspirin. But people 60 years or older should not start taking Aspirin.
"People ages 40 to 59 who are at higher risk for CVD and do not have a history of CVD should decide with their healthcare professional whether to start taking aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke," officials wrote in a statement.
“It’s important that they decide together with their healthcare professional if starting aspirin is right for them because daily aspirin use does come with possible serious harms," says Task Force member John Wong, M.D.
The USPSTF says while daily Aspirin use has been shown to lower the chances of having a first heart attack or stroke, the drug can be harmful. Aspirin has the potential to cause bleeding in the stomach, intestines, and brain.
According to the USPSTF, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States accounting for more than one in four deaths.
The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.