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Survey Shows Aspirin Use Remains High Among Older Adults, Despite Risks

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A survey representing about 150 million adults annually suggests that aspirin use for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease remains prevalent among older adults, contrary to recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

[Image source: Wikimedia]


Interestingly, this survey reveals a significant decline in aspirin use in the United States between 2018 and 2019. This coincided with new evidence and updated recommendations advising against its use for primary cardiovascular disease prevention in older adults. Nevertheless, by 2021, nearly a third of adults aged 60 or older who did not have cardiovascular disease were continuing to use the drug, with nearly 1 in 20 doing so without medical advice. In total, the survey found that 25.6 million adults in the United States reported using aspirin, including 18.5 million aged 60 or older.

The dangers of aspirin should not be underestimated. Research published in 2017 found that elderly people who take daily aspirin tablets after a heart attack or stroke are at far greater risk of potentially fatal internal bleeding than originally thought. Published in The Lancet medical journal by scientists at Oxford University, the research suggests that more than 3,000 patients die every year in the UK from long-term use of the drug. Significantly, for people over the age of 75, the risk of suffering a disabling or deadly bleed from aspirin treatment was shown to be ten times higher than for younger patients.

To learn more about the dangers of aspirin, see this article on our website.

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