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The Dr. Daliah Show

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: In this photo illustration, St. Joseph 81 mg asprin tablets are seen on April 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that taking a low-dose asprin daily can help prevent both heart disease and colorectal cancer in adults ages 50 to 69. (Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Harvard researchers warn that 30 million Americans are taking aspirin for prevention of heart disease when they could be putting themselves at risk for other serious diseases.

They estimate that 1/5 of these individuals took aspirin on their own without a doctor’s order.

Although aspirin use is recommended for secondary prevention of future heart attacks and ischemic stroke in those at risk of having a future episode, primary prevention (in those who have never had an attack) is still debated.

One study last year found minimal benefit if at all for primary prevention in low risk individuals.  Many experts say the risk of gastrointestinal bleed, heart disease, hemorrhagic stroke and kidney disease outweigh the benefits.

The latest guidelines from the American College of Cardiology states the following in terms of aspirin for prevention of heart disease:

FOR DECADES, LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN (75-100 MG WITH US 81 MG/DAY) HAS BEEN WIDELY ADMINISTERED FOR ASCVD PREVENTION. BY IRREVERSIBLY INHIBITING PLATELET FUNCTION, ASPIRIN REDUCES RISK OF ATHEROTHROMBOSIS BUT AT THE RISK OF BLEEDING, PARTICULARLY IN THE GASTROINTESTINAL (GI) TRACT. ASPIRIN IS WELL ESTABLISHED FOR SECONDARY PREVENTION OF ASCVD AND IS WIDELY RECOMMENDED FOR THIS INDICATION, BUT RECENT STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT IN THE MODERN ERA, ASPIRIN SHOULD NOT BE USED IN THE ROUTINE PRIMARY PREVENTION OF ASCVD DUE TO LACK OF NET BENEFIT. MOST IMPORTANT IS TO AVOID ASPIRIN IN PERSONS WITH INCREASED RISK OF BLEEDING INCLUDING A HISTORY OF GI BLEEDING OR PEPTIC ULCER DISEASE, BLEEDING FROM OTHER SITES, AGE >70 YEARS, THROMBOCYTOPENIA, COAGULOPATHY, CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE, AND CONCURRENT USE OF NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS, STEROIDS, AND ANTICOAGULANTS. THE FOLLOWING ARE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON META-ANALYSIS AND THREE RECENT TRIALS:
  • LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN MIGHT BE CONSIDERED FOR PRIMARY PREVENTION OF ASCVD IN SELECT HIGHER ASCVD ADULTS AGED 40-70 YEARS WHO ARE NOT AT INCREASED BLEEDING RISK.
  • LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN SHOULD NOT BE ADMINISTERED ON A ROUTINE BASIS FOR PRIMARY PREVENTION OF ASCVD AMONG ADULTS >70 YEARS.
  • LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN SHOULD NOT BE ADMINISTERED FOR PRIMARY PREVENTION AMONG ADULTS AT ANY AGE WHO ARE AT INCREASED BLEEDING RISK.

A report published in the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Statistics annual report cite 48% of US adults have some type of cardiovascular disease.

The uptick could be due to rising obesity, and lowering thresholds for diagnosing guidelines such as high blood pressure (now considered high if over 130/80).

Although smoking rates have declined over the years, many still use tobacco and recent research has found E-cigs to increase risk of heart attack and stroke by 70%.

For more info visit Dr. Daliah’s original post HERE.