Does aspirin help you or hurt you when it comes to heart health? Read the new information about aspirin and your heart and how it can affect you.
According to an influential health guidelines group, you shouldn’t take daily low-dose aspirin if you don’t have heart disease. In its draft guidance, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says the bleeding risks outweigh any potential benefits.
While individuals ages 60 and older are at risk, the group notes that adults in their 40s have no risk. Furthermore, these recommendations are for those with hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and other conditions that increase heart attacks or strokes.
Current vs. Previous Guidelines
“Aspirin use can cause serious harms, and risk increases with age,” says task force member Dr. John Wong, a primary-care expert at Tufts Medical Center. If the guidelines are finalized, they would be in line with recent guidelines from other medical groups.
However, the guidance does not recommend patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke to stop taking low-dose aspirin. While they have previously noted that daily aspirin may help against colorectal cancer, their current guidance calls for more evidence. These guidelines are available online for public comments until November 8; afterward, they’ll evaluate the input and finalize their decision.
Aspirin and Heart Health
According to Wong, newer studies and a re-analysis of older research is what prompted the reevaluation of their guidelines. While aspirin has its benefits, it also has risks – even at low doses – such as bleeding in the digestive tract.
Many adults who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke take daily aspirin, which is why this guidance is important. Dr. Lauren Block, an internist-researcher at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, recently switched a patient from aspirin to a statin drug. Block, who is not part of the task force, made the switch because of the potential harm.
Rita Seefeldt, a 63-year old with hypertension, used to take daily aspirin until her doctor told her to stop. She recalls that “he said they changed their minds on that” and notes that she understands science evolves.
In regards to this, Wong acknowledges that some patients may be frustrated and confused about the changing guidelines. “It’s a fair question,” says Wong. “What’s really important to know is that evidence changes over time.”
While the group is finalizing its guidelines, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about what’s best for you. Your needs will largely depend on your individual circumstances, so let your doctor know about these new guidelines.
Meanwhile, you can give your heart health an extra boost by taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients help promote circulation by boosting nitric oxide production in the body, resulting in relaxed blood vessels and more.
Give your heart health the support it deserves and take L-arginine Plus as part of your daily health routine.