American experts in preventative medicine now suggest low-dose aspirin is a means to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke for people in their 50s. Furthermore, individuals in their 60s can also reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by taking low-dose aspirin, but it may not benefit them as much as those in their 50s.
In 2009 low-dose aspirin was recommended in men and women as a means to prevent stroke and heart attack. New evidence reveals there is little support which suggests low-dose aspirin is beneficial for individuals below 50, or those 70 and older.
Aside from reducing the risk of heart attack, low-dose aspirin may also be beneficial to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but researchers do not suggest taking low-dose aspirin solely for the reduction in risk for colon cancer.
Dr. Doug Owens from Stanford University said, “We think for people taking aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, there is an additional benefit for colorectal cancer protection. We’re not recommending you take aspirin for colorectal cancer if you’re not at high risk for cardiovascular disease.”
The new guidelines are recommended for individuals with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, not for those who have had a heart attack or stroke and are trying to prevent a second episode. The recommendations for low-dose aspirin are best suited for an older adult in their 50s; someone who has a 10 percent or greater risk of developing a heart attack or stroke, and does not have an increased risk of bleeding, would most benefit a low-dose aspirin.
Owens recommends that even though taking a low-dose aspirin can work as preventative measures, a person should always consult their doctor; even aspirin in low-dosages can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Dr. Kim Williams from the American College of Cardiology said, “Aspirin definitely causes GI bleeding, related to the dose rather than the duration. If you’ve taken low-dose aspirin safely for five years, your bleeding risk is the same as if you’ve just started taking it.”