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Experts caution against using aspirin for heart disease prevention

woman taking multivitamins

Recent studies and updated guidelines have significantly altered the approach to aspirin use for preventing heart disease, particularly among older adults. Despite its popularity as a preventive measure, the role of aspirin in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention has become more selective, emphasizing the importance of medical guidance.

Current recommendations on aspirin use

Aspirin, a common medication known for pain relief and its anti-clotting properties, was once widely recommended for preventing heart attacks and strokes. However, recent guidelines from authoritative bodies like the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology now advise against routine aspirin use for primary prevention in adults over 70 and those without cardiovascular disease.

Instead, aspirin is recommended for secondary prevention, aimed at preventing further heart issues in individuals who have already experienced cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes.

Insights from recent studies

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that although aspirin use has declined, about 29.7% of adults aged 60 and older still use it without medical advice. This highlights a significant communication gap between health care providers and patients regarding the personalized use of aspirin.

Experts emphasize that while aspirin can benefit high-risk individuals, it poses a bleeding risk, making it unsuitable for everyone. This nuanced approach to aspirin therapy underscores the need for individual assessments by health care professionals.

Expert opinions on aspirin use

Cardiologists like Dr. Rigved Tadwalkar and Dr. Kevin Rabii stress the importance of discussing aspirin use with a health care provider. They note that while aspirin remains beneficial for those with a history of cardiovascular events, its preventive use in other populations should be carefully considered to avoid unnecessary risks.

These discussions ensure that patients receive tailored advice that balances the benefits of aspirin with potential risks, particularly bleeding complications.


The evolving guidelines and recent research reflect a more cautious approach to aspirin use in heart disease prevention. Patients are encouraged to consult their doctors to make informed decisions based on their health profiles and risk factors.