Daily aspirin may not lead to a healthy heart, doctors say

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The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association on Sunday said low-dose aspirin should not be given on a routine basis for the objective of preventing heart attacks and other heart disease in people aged 70 years and older or adults of any age who are at increased risk of bleeding.

Doctors may consider aspirin for certain high-risk older patients, such as those who have trouble lowering their cholesterol or controlling their blood sugar levels, as long as there is no increased risk of internal bleeding, the guidelines say.

New guidelines recommend dropping the aspirin if you don't have a high risk for heart disease.

Think the guidelines really are emphasizing the things we already know that our drugs for high blood pressure and cholesterol are working very well so when we combine that with other lifestyle measures like quitting smoking which causes high nflammation and eating a balanced diet and getting a lot of exercise we are well on our way to reducing heart disease.

He nonetheless said aspirin can still be life-saving for those who had open heart surgery and stroke.

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The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association are recommending that low-dose aspirin be used strictly on a case by case basis. "Ultimately, we must individualize treatment for each patient, based on their individual situation", Campbell said. Aspirin is not recommended especially if patients have a high risk of bleeding.

"We've weighed the risk of the benefits of preventing a heart attack and preventing bleeding".

American heart disease experts are the latest to question the long-accepted wisdom of taking a daily aspirin to ward off heart attacks. But regular use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke in healthy people is not as clear-cut. Previously, doctors had recommended a daily dose of 75 mg to 100 mg to avert heart disease.

Even though there's clear evidence aspirin works for this objective, many physicians and patients have been reluctant to follow the recommendations because of the risk of rare but potentially fatal internal bleeding. The higher death rate in the aspirin-treated group was due primarily to a higher rate of cancer deaths. "They are receptive to that", she said.

Dr. Chauhan emphasizes that whether you are on an aspirin regimen or not, a healthy lifestyle is important in protection against heart disease, "trying to avoid the red meats and fatty foods, trans fats that are more detrimental to your cardiovascular system (and) obviously avoiding smoking".

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