CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - For decades doctors have said a low-dose aspirin a day could prevent a heart attack or stroke in adults who have never had one, but now, they’re reversing that recommendation. It’s all part of new guidelines released over the weekend.
“My whole life growing up you saw the take an aspirin a day to prevent a heart attack and that's how most of us thought, but we are re-thinking about it now,” Doctor Troy Leo said.
Leo is a cardiologist and medical director at the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute. The new guidelines come from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.
“When we look at the evidence it actually might not be the best thing for people who haven't had a heart attack and we will likely use it in a small number of people.”
The recommendation comes after a clinical study found a daily dose of aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy people, but it could be linked to bleeding.
“We've weighed the risk of the benefits of preventing a heart attack and preventing bleeding. For people who haven't had heart attacks that that risk of bleeding is probably more than the risk of saving you from having a heart attack.”
Leo says aspirin is still good for people who have had a stroke or heart attack, but when it comes to overall prevention, lifestyle changes are far more important than an aspirin a day.
“There’s a lot that you can control eat healthy, exercise, stay away from smoke live a good healthy life style. 80 percent of cardiovascular events are preventable just by what you do.”
Leo says it is best to talk to your doctor if you have any questions.