Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Over the past few decades, daily aspirin was considered a way to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular disease. Low dose aspirin was encouraged to be taken by healthy individuals with no heart or vascular disease. Over the past few years, multiple studies were published looking into the risks and benefits of taking daily aspirin. It was discovered that for healthy individuals with no heart or vascular disease, the benefit of taking daily aspirin was offset by the dangers of internal bleeding, including bleeding in the brain, in people of low or moderate risk of heart disease. One study in particular found no benefits of daily aspirin in healthy people over 70 years of age, and on the contrary, found evidence of harm in these patients. The United States Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends low dose aspirin for adults 50-59 years, with a 10% or more risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years. You can calculate your risk of cardiovascular disease by following the steps shown in my video How to Calculate your Heart Attack Risk?.
It must be clearly stated that the above recommendation does not apply to people who already had a heart attack, a stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery or a stent inserted in their coronary arteries. These patients should take daily low dose aspirin as recommended by their health care providers.