New draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend against taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes for most people. The Oct. 12, 2021 guidelines are based on new evidence showing that the risks of daily low-dose aspirin — especially from stomach issues and bleeding in the brain due to falls — outweigh the benefits it provides in helping to prevent heart disease for persons 60 years and older.

For people 40 to 59, the task force found only a small net benefit to taking aspirin as a preventive medication.

Medical experts say no one currently taking aspirin should quit before consulting their doctor first because the drug still has an anti-inflammatory effect that may provide a net benefit to some patients.

Here are the experts we have available and the topics they can address for this story:

Lori B. Daniels, MD, cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Professor of Medicine
Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, cardiologist and division chief, Cardiovascular Medicine
Pam R. Taub, MD, cardiologist and director of Step Family Foundation Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, Professor of Medicine

Topics of Discussion:

  • Why low-dose aspirin is beneficial to the cardiovascular system
  • Why the benefits of daily low-dose aspirin don’t outweigh the risks
  • Who should continue taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke

Shailja C. Shah, MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and co-director, Medicine Gastro-Esophageal Oncogenesis, Dysmotility and Evolution Research Program

Topics of Discussion:

  • Why most older healthy people should stop taking low-dose aspirin
  • Why aspirin causes stomach bleeding
  • Why stomach bleeding is dangerous
  • The symptoms of stomach bleeding

Todd Costantini, MD, surgical intensivist and director, Level 1 Trauma Center

Topics of Discussion:

  • Why most older healthy people should stop taking low-dose aspirin
  • What is a subdural hematoma and why aspirin increases the risk for it

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