Looks like the old saying, “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” isn’t just a punchline anymore. A government task force just announced it is recommending aspirin to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and colorectal cancer.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says a daily low-dose of aspirin could help some people in their 50’s and 60’s prevent heart attacks and, as an added benefit, it may also protect against colon cancer.
A CBS News report suggests the recommendation targets people who “meet a strict list of criteria – including a high risk of heart attack and a low risk of bleeding side effects.” You can watch a video of the story by clicking below.
As the New York Times points out, not everyone is a fan of this new recommendation. From the Times blog:
“But some top experts questioned whether the evidence was sufficient to justify such a sweeping recommendation, saying more widespread use of aspirin could do more harm than good. Already millions of people “take aspirin who shouldn’t,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, who was part of a recent Food and Drug Administration review that concluded aspirin should not be used to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.
The task force “has gotten it wrong,” Dr. Nissen said. “And we can’t afford to get this wrong, because it affects tens of millions of Americans.”
NBC news says some experts believe the benefits may outweigh the risks.
“While it is true that there are potential harms to long-term use of aspirin (namely bleeding), it is a very simple and cheap intervention that is already widely available and known to be relatively safe,” said Dr. Ranit Mishori, a family physician at Georgetown University.”
More than 10,000 Arizonans die every year from heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer. Let us know if you think aspirin can help us take a bite out of that number and move us forward in our vision to make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!