Doctors have advised their patients to take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. I saw a headline this morning as I was searching for current health topics. One headline suggested that daily low-dose aspirin might not be best to prevent heart attacks.
I started looking for other sources to confirm what I read and could not find any. So I went back to the original article – https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/aspirin-guidelines-heart-heart-attack/2021/10/12/id/1040155/ and found no active links.
The U. S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a draft guidance about bleeding risks in adults over 60 years of age who have not had a heart attack or stroke. I went to the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force website https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/search_results?searchterm=low-dose%20aspirin%20prevent%20heart%20attack looking for more information.
I found nothing current that suggested stopping the aspirin regimen from preventing heart attack and stroke. However, there was a reference to a 2016 publication recommending aspirin for heart attack and stroke prevention.
It puzzled me. An organization issues draft guidance that cannot be found in writing with a casual search. Having a person stop taking aspirin daily is a big deal. I found several articles about stopping taking low-dose aspirin if you have been on it for a long time.
The draft guidance suggests that older adults should not take low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. However, the draft guidance opined that low-dose aspirin is a small benefit for adults in their 40s who have no bleeding risks.
The original low-dose aspirin protocol was suggested for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions that increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for those who have had a heart attack or stroke.
There appears to be a conflict of opinions between the 2016 recommendation and current thinking. The article stated that the draft guidance was posted online for review before the deadline of November 8, 2021. It would have been nice to have a hotlink to that online draft. The U. S. Preventive Services Task Force has a mandate to analyze and research medical advice and issue guidance as needed, even if it countermands previous recommendations.
Risks of Low-Dose Aspirin
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/is-taking-aspirin-good-for-your-heart. Aspirin is a pain reliever and a blood thinner. Medical researchers believe that aspirin can reduce the risk of blood clots which can be a severe health hazard.
All medications have side effects. Some are extremely serious. Most of my readers have watched television commercials that tout the benefits of prescription medicine, and the announcer will tell the audience that some patients may experience diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeats, hives, nausea, vomiting, and rash.
The more serious side effects might be hallucinations, memory loss, blood clots, compulsive behavior, birth defects, cancer, and various syndromes. One wonders why anyone would take a medication that could cause problems much worse than what the medicine was intended to address.
Low-dose aspirin irritates the stomach lining and can cause gastrointestinal upset, ulcers, and bleeding. As a result, kidney failure, liver disease, and other health issues can occur, especially if you take other prescription medications.
Stopping Low-Dose Aspirin Safely
https://www.capecodhealth.org/medical-services/heart-vascular-care/dont-quit-your-aspirin-therapy-abruptly/. and https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.028321. A Swedish study (2005-2009) of over 600,000 users of low-dose aspirin were evaluated. All were over 40 years of age. The medical history of each was reviewed to ensure that all had safely passed the post-medical time to be considered normal and healthy again – cancer recovery, cardiovascular events, major surgery, etc.
The study examined the three years after being cleared from their prior medical issues, nearly 63,000 cardiovascular events occurred. Those patients who had stopped taking low-dose aspirin had a thirty-seven percent higher risk than those still taking the low-dose aspirin.
Is there a safe way to stop taking low-dose aspirin when you have been taking it for years? I wish I could offer medical advice. I cannot. I am a researcher and provide educational information based on my research. I reviewed several articles about how to stop taking low-dose aspirin safely and could find nothing that I felt comfortable publishing the data or the links.
Your doctor knows more about your health history and other medications you may be taking than anyone else. Talk to your physician if you think that your age and health might warrant eliminating your daily aspirin protocol.
From an educational perspective, turmeric, ginger, cayenne peppers, vitamin E, garlic, cassia cinnamon, Ginkgo biloba, grape seed extract, and other natural foods thin your blood. If you are already on a blood thinner, your doctor might recommend that you abstain from the foods listed above and stop taking fish oil (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) and foods rich in vitamin K (leafy green vegetables, fish, liver, eggs, etc.)
When in doubt, talk to your doctor, not Dr. Google!
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com
As usual, sound advice. Thanks