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Aspirin No Longer Recommended To Prevent First Heart Attack Or Stroke For Adults Over 60

BOSTON (CBS) -- For decades, older adults have been advised to take a daily aspirin to help prevent heart disease. But a leading group of experts says that for many, not only is it not necessary but it could be potentially dangerous.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group of independent health prevention experts, now says most people over 60 without a history of heart disease or stroke should not start taking low-dose or baby aspirin to prevent these disorders because the risks probably outweigh the benefits.

Aspirin prevents clotting, which can lead to bleeding in the gut or in the brain, especially as we age. For middle-aged adults ages 40 to 59, there could be a small benefit for those with a 10% or higher risk of developing heart disease over the next 10 years.

People with known heart disease or a history of stroke who have been advised to take daily aspirin by their providers should continue to do so. But before anyone starts or stops taking daily aspirin, please consult your physician because there may be a very good reason why you should either be taking it or avoiding it.

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