Daily aspirin no longer recommended to prevent heart attacks for healthy, older adults

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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

Taking low-dose aspirin as a preventative for heart attack or stroke is no longer recommended for adults age 70 or over, according to guidelines released Sunday.

The recommendations, issued jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, are a reversal of previous guidance that endorsed taking a baby aspirin daily to prevent cardiovascular problems in adults over age 50. The two groups agreed that for older adults with low risk — no prior history of heart attack or stroke — the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding outweighs any heart benefit.