(NewsNation) — An aspirin a day keeps the doctor away, right?
It’s a proverb passed down through the generations.
But now, new evidence of the possible harm a daily aspirin could cause has led health experts to change course on some well-known advice.
According to the latest recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, people over 60 should not start taking a daily aspirin in most cases to protect against a first heart attack or stroke.
The new guidance from the physician task force said people 40 to 59 should only take an aspirin if they have a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Evidence indicates that the net benefit of aspirin use in this group is small,” the USPSTF states.
The recommendations also says there is little benefit in taking aspirin beyond the age of 75.
Daily use of aspirin may even contribute to a risk for bleeding in the brain, stomach or intestines as you get older, according to the USPSTF.
Tuesday, NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” caught up with Dr. Carlos Santos-Gallego — a cardiologist at Mount Sinai in New York — who explained the new study.
According to the doctor, the first thing anyone who is taking painkillers should know is that doing so should not be on their own fruition but by recommendation of a doctor.
Santos-Gallego then went on to explain the aspirin works best the younger the person is and increases in side-effects, the older they are.
“Thats why for patients over 60, in most cases, the risk of bleeding is more important than the prevention that we’re getting. That’s why in these new guidelines, we are not recommending to initiate aspirin in patients who are over 60 years old,” he said.
Although we warns if you’re already taking aspirin, to talk to the doctors before stopping.
“The new guidelines apply to patients who are going to initiate taking aspirin. These guidelines only apply to patients who are, right now, not taking aspirin.”
On whether or not the famous painkiller is a helpful health aid overall, he gives the program sound advise.
“Aspirin is useful to reduce to risk of heart attack, however, the most important issue is to have a global approach to the patient,” he said, before citing exercise, controlling blood pressure and having a healthy diet.
“Aspirin is important but it only one piece of the puzzle,” he continued.
Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States.