aspirin daily

USPSTF Recommendation on Taking Aspirin

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that people who are 50 to 69 years old, have increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and who are not at increased risk for bleeding, consider taking aspirin for primary prevention of CVD and colorectal cancer. The full recommendation and evidence reviews were published in Annals of Internal Medicine on April 11th 2016.

A release from the American College of Physician notes that the USPSTF recommends initiating low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD and colorectal cancer in adults aged 50 to 59 years who have a 10 percent or greater 10-year CVD risk, are not at increased risk for bleeding, have a life expectancy of at least 10 years, and are willing to take low-dose aspirin daily for at least 10 years.

The decision to initiate low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD and colorectal cancer in adults aged 60 to 69 years who have a 10 percent or greater 10-year CVD risk should be an individual one with his or her doctor. Those who are not at increased risk for bleeding, have a life expectancy of at least 10 years, and are willing to take low-dose aspirin daily for at least 10 years are more likely to benefit.

CVD and colorectal cancer are major causes of death for adults in the U.S. In fact, in 2011 over half of all deaths in the U.S. were caused by heart disease, cancer or stroke. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women and a leading cause of cancer death.

While taking low-dose aspirin daily can help prevent heart attacks, stroke and cancer, it also increases the risk of serious harms, particularly risk of bleeding in the stomach and intestines, and strokes caused by bleeding in the brain. The Task Force looked at the combined benefits and harms of taking aspirin for the primary prevention of both cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in this recommendation.

More research is needed to assess whether taking aspirin is beneficial for people who are younger than 50 or 70 years and older.

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