Advisers alter aspirin recommendations

Feb. 26, 2010 at 9:45 PM

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. health advisers have altered their advice on using low-dose aspirin to reduce cardiovascular risk, officials said.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is urging physicians to factor in the age, gender and other risk factors before prescribing an aspirin regimen, CBS News reported.

For people who have had a heart attack or stroke, the new guidelines don't apply and they should continue following their doctor's recommendation when it comes to aspirin.

The federal advisers said the more risk factors people have, the more likely they are to benefit from aspirin, but the potential benefits have to outweigh the potential harm of aspirin.

Aspirin is not recommended for people 80 and older because the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding increases with age, the guidelines said.

In addition, aspirin is not recommended for men age 45 and under and women age 55 and under, because their incidence of heart attack and stroke is considered too low.

Specifically, an aspirin is recommended for men ages 45-79 with increased heart-attack risk and for women ages 55-79 at risk of having a stroke caused by blood clot.

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