People Should Stop Taking Aspirin For Heart Health Without Expert Advice Pixabay/padrinan

People taking Aspirin for heart health without a doctor’s advice should stop doing so, says the findings from a study. People aged 70 or younger, without a higher risk of bleeding and who do not have cardiovascular diseases, should avoid taking Aspirin at their will, it suggests.

The research was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine – an internal journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP) – Tuesday. It stated that nearly 29 million people -- aged 40 and above -- took Aspirin daily on average without having any known heart disease in 2017. Among them, a large population of around 6.6 million were taking this pill without a doctor’s advice.

The research was based on the latest data available and stated that nearly 10 million people, i.e., about half of the population above 70, were taking an Aspirin every day for heart health, without having any risk of heart disease.

Doctors have been recommending people to take Aspirin to reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke as Aspirin has blood-thinning properties.

But three studies -- ASPREE (Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), ARRIVE (Aspirin to Reduce Risk of Initial Vascular Events) and ASCEND (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes) – suggested only marginal benefit of using Aspirin for people with low or moderate risk of heart attack, especially the older ones. These studies were published last year.

The researchers also talked about several side effects, such as digestive-tract bleeding, experienced by people with no known heart disease due to the use of Aspirin. The findings prompted the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to bring out a change in the guidelines for the use of the drug.

The new guideline from the researchers is to avoid daily aspirin use for people aged 70 or below, who are at increased risk of bleeding without having a heart disease. People aged between 40 and 70, who are at higher risk of heart diseases, can take 75 to 100 milligrams of this pill daily with doctor’s recommendation, according to the study.

“Many patients are confused about this. We hope that more primary care doctors will talk to their patients about aspirin use, and more patients will raise this with their doctors,” lead researcher Colin O'Brien, who is a senior internal medicine resident Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said.