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Stop routine aspirin for the over-60s, researchers advise

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People are routinely prescribed aspirin when they reach the age of 60 as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease.

But it’s a double-edged sword, and the drug can cause serious stomach bleeds that sometimes can be fatal.

So, the policy of prescribing aspirin for all over-60s should be abandoned and instead doctors should be prescribing on a case-by-case basis, depending on the patient’s risk profile.  Age, on its own, isn’t a risk factor for heart disease.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine have suggested a better prescribing practice for carers who may be confused by four conflicting studies.

By taking the data from those four studies, the researchers found that aspirin reduced cardiovascular disease by 13 percent overall, but this did not account for the harm the drug could also cause.

(Source: Family Medicine and Community Health, 2021; 9: e001475)

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