That Aspirin-a-Day Habit Does More Harm Than Good for Your Heart, Say Cardiology Organizations

March 18, 2019, 9:39 PM UTC

For years, doctors said a low-dose or baby aspirin a day was supposed to keep heart attack and stroke at bay. But for adults over age 70, that daily pill-popping is no longer necessary, according to new recommendation guidelines issued jointly by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. The new aspirin guidelines were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on Sunday.

These updated aspirin use guidelines are not entirely surprising if you happen to closely follow medical journal research on this topic. In September 2018, the New England Journal of Medicine published three studies about daily aspirin use that found the practice could cause more harm than benefit to patients. Specifically, one study identified side effects such as as a significantly higher risk for major hemorrhage, and another found that compared with other healthy adults over 70 years of age who did not take a daily dose of baby aspirin, the group that did consume low-dose aspirin had a “higher all-cause mortality.”

The new aspirin guidelines don’t mean that you should throw the baby aspirin out with the bathwater. Baby aspirin is useful for a variety of conditions and in treating all sorts of pain-related symptoms. It has even been found in some initial clinical trials to prevent women from developing ovarian cancer. Discuss the pros and cons of daily aspirin use with your doctor.