New guidelines advise against aspirin to prevent heart disease

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Aspirin *can save the lives of those who have had a stroke a heart attack or have had stents inserted. But regular use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke in healthy people is not as clear-cut.

Aiming for and keeping a healthy weight - for people who are overweight or obese, losing just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight (that would be 10-20 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds) can markedly cut their risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues.

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association released the new guidelines Sunday. These guidelines apply to people who have not been previously diagnosed with heart disease.

"Taking aspirin [every day] is no longer automatic for people who have never had a cardiac event".

" Clinicians need to be very selective in recommending aspirin for people without known heart disease", said Dr. Roger Blumenthal, co-chair of the 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Main Avoidance of Heart Disease, in a declaration.

In the published guidelines, low-dose aspirin should be used sparingly as a means to prevent stroke and heart attack in people over 70 and those without any heart-related diseases. He added he would promote a healthy lifestyle, risk factor modification, and smoking cessation before he would even consider prescribing aspirin to a patient without known cardiovascular disease. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have reversed a decades old recommendation that an aspirin a day helps to prevent cardiovascular problems for certain people. As with any medication, don't start or stop using it without speaking with your doctor first.

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The findings revealed that 90.3 percent of participants who were treated with 100 milligrams of low-dose aspirin every day were still alive at the end of treatment without "persistent physical or dementia, compared with 90.5 percent of those taking a placebo", the press release states.

Another popular maintenance drug for preventing heart attack and stroke is now being questioned after a study revealed that it might be causing more harm than good to elderly patients.

Aspirin did not help prevent cancer as had been hoped. "Aspirin is widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent antiplatelet therapies of choice across a wide cardiovascular risk continuum, based on its proven efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness".

Although it's been used for more than a century, aspirin's value in many situations is still unclear.

The bottom line: Talk to your doctor before ending or beginning a low-dose aspirin regimen.

For this, the recommendations say people should eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fish.