As is often the case in the world of health, there are times when prescriptions, medications or preventative care treatments which used to be thought of as “good for us” or “healthy” are studied more closely and deemed the opposite (in 1898, Bayer Pharmaceuticals advertised a “non-addictive” heroin-laced cold medicine to treat children for coughs, colds and sore throats). This week, it has been concluded that the previously supported practice of prescribing daily low doses of aspirin as a preventative care treatment for cardiovascular health, meant to ward off heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases is not necessarily beneficial in primary prevention, and has actually proven itself to be damaging to patients in the long run.
While previously thought to have been a safe and recommended practice for preventing cardiovascular disease later on in life, earlier this week, the American College for Cardiology and American Heart Association released new guidelines which plainly state that a prescription of daily low-dose aspirin does not, in fact help older adults who do not have a cardiovascular disease.
Mubashar A Choudry M.D., F.A.C.C., Chief Medical Officer, Washington Cardiovascular Institute, cites studies released in 2014 and 2018, published in The New England Journal of Medicine for this change in medical guidelines. According to the studies, a daily low-dose of aspirin did lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, yet significantly increased the risk of major hemorrhage and resulted in an increase in all-cause mortality.
While Dr. Choudry acknowledges the benefits of aspirin in secondary prevention, he recommends that middle-aged and elderly patients pay close attention to these newly issued guidelines, and refrain from taking daily low-dose aspirin (100mg or less) for primary prevention in order to minimize their risk of a major hemorrhage.
Dr. Choudry recommends strongly that you