Millions at Risk: Alarm Raised Over Widespread Aspirin Use in Older Adults

Pouring Aspirin Tablets

Despite updated guidelines advising against it, many older adults continue to use aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention. Research indicates a significant number of adults over 60 still take aspirin without medical advice, emphasizing the need for better doctor-patient communication on this issue.

The findings emphasize the urgent need for physicians to ask about aspirin use.

Despite guidelines advising against it, many older adults continue to use aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, highlighting the need for more physician involvement in medication management.

A study encompassing approximately 150 million adults each year indicates that many older adults continue to use aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), despite guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advising otherwise. The study’s authors emphasize the critical need for doctors to ask about aspirin usage and to review its potential benefits and risks with elderly patients. These findings have been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic studied data from the National Health Interview Survey Sample Adult component (2012–2019 and 2021) to characterize trends in the prevalence of aspirin use for CVD prevention. Participants aged 40 years or older were asked to report aspirin use and were stratified by age group and CVD status based on self-reported history of stroke, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, or angina.

Decline in Aspirin Use Amid New Guidelines

The data showed that aspirin use declined from 2018 to 2019 after new evidence prompted the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to recommend against aspirin therapy for primary prevention in older adults.

Still, even after this decline, nearly a third of adults aged 60 or older without CVD were still using aspirin in 2021, and nearly 1 in 20 were using it without medical advice. Overall, 25.6 million adults reported aspirin use in the U.S., with 18.5 million adults aged 60 years or older using aspirin in 2021. The findings suggest a need to reduce inappropriate use of aspirin among older adults.

Reference: “Aspirin Use Prevalence for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Among U.S. Adults From 2012 to 2021” by Mohak Gupta, Snigdha Gulati, Khurram Nasir and Ashish Sarraju, 25 June 2024, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M24-0427

5 Comments on "Millions at Risk: Alarm Raised Over Widespread Aspirin Use in Older Adults"

  1. Clyde Spencer | July 6, 2024 at 6:51 pm | Reply

    And there was a time, not so long ago, that people were advised to stop eating butter and, instead, use hydrogenated vegetable oils. Similarly, people were recommended to reduce calorie intake by drinking sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead of with sucrose. Perhaps doctors and nutritionists are too quick to adopt the latest research and advise the public to switch their diets.

  2. So, this article doesn’t really supply ANY useful information. Nothing about the pros and cons of use, nothing about dosages, nothing about decades of being told to take the “wonder drug” (as it was once called) and no advice of any kind. Just “Panic, panic, panic”.

  3. “So, this article doesn’t really supply ANY useful information” – Agree. SciTechDaily needs to do better

  4. Useless article.

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