June 3, 2023

Eric Alter, MD, Cardiologist, Heart and Vascular Institute, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, discusses updated aspirin guidance.

60 and older here to explain the latest is cardiologist dr eric alter with the heart and vascular institute at st vincent’s medical center dr welcome thank you for having me today thank you for being here so this is so important who issued the new guidelines and what led up to this so the new guidelines were issued by the united states preventative services task

Force also known as uspstf which is an independent panel that helps to establish recommendations for preventative care in this country the new guidelines are based off of years of accruing evidence and research what we have learned over that time is that while a preventative aspirin may offer some benefit to your health in terms of preventing a first heart attack

Or stroke it’s not necessarily a benign medication and years of research has shown us that a baby aspirin in particular can have some risk associated with it primarily in regards to the risk for bleeding particularly gastrointestinal bleeding and that the small benefit that it may offer may actually be outweighed by the risks associated with it interesting all

Right doctor who is directly affected by this change and who is not so these changes impact adults who have not had a prior heart attack for stroke the guidelines now recommend that adults aged 40 to 59 should have a discussion with their doctor regarding starting a preventative aspirin and that this should be a decision made on an individual basis there’s only

Certain groups of people at very high risk for heart disease will actually benefit from this medication adults above the age of 60 should not be starting a preventative aspirin except with very rare exceptions and especially those above the age of 75 should not be starting this medication because that’s when we see the biggest risk for side effects for people

Who have established cardiovascular disease meaning they’ve already had a prior heart attack or stroke or heart surgery aspirin still remains a very important medication for these people typically regardless of age all right doctor what does this mean for people who may currently be taking baby aspirin so that’s a good question if you’re already taking a baby

Aspirin you should discuss with your doctor before making any changes if you’ve had a prior heart attack or stroke then nothing should likely change for you however if you are taking an aspirin in order to prevent a first-hearted factors group then this represents a good opportunity to discuss the long-term risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor

You may find that if you are under the age of 75 and have been taking and tolerating an aspirin without issues for some time then you may want to continue it but this should be an individualized discussion with the doctor all right and doctor were you surprised by these new guidelines so to be honest i was not very surprised by these new guidelines and in fact

Many cardiologists have been anticipating these changes for some time the main data and research that these recommendations are based off of was published almost four years ago at this point but it takes time for panels such as uspstf to analyze large sets of information and incorporate these findings into national guidelines all right so talk with your doctor dr

Eric alter cardiologist thank you so much for being with us and for more information you can go to hartfordhealthcare.org heart thank you doctor

Transcribed from video
New Aspirin Guidelines By Hartford HealthCare