Washington (AFP)

Daily aspirin intake to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke should no longer be recommended in the United States for people 60 years and older, a panel of American experts said Tuesday.

As for people aged 40 to 59, at risk but having no history of cardiovascular disease, they must individually make the decision to initiate this treatment, after discussion with their doctor, added these experts.

This is a turnaround on the issue, which concerns millions of people as the practice is so widespread in the country.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Since 2016, experts from the US Preventive Services Task Force, whose recommendations are widely followed, have recommended aspirin for people in their 50s with an assessed risk of 10% of heart attack or stroke in the following ten years.

They also believed that people in their 60s at risk could take this preventive treatment on the basis of an individual decision.

But for several years, studies have questioned the American recommendations.

Aspirin thins the blood, which prevents blood clots and helps reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

On Tuesday, however, experts felt that these benefits were not enough to, in older people, offset the increased risk of bleeding, especially in the brain or intestines.

"Using aspirin on a daily basis may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some, but it can also cause serious adverse effects, such as internal bleeding," Dr. John Wong, member of the hospital, said in a statement. Task Force.

"It is important that people between the ages of 40 and 59 who have no history of heart disease have a conversation with their doctor to decide together whether starting aspirin is right for them," he said. added.

These new recommendations are not yet final, being first subject to a period of public debate until early November.

They do not apply to people taking aspirin after having already suffered a stroke or heart attack, the statement said.

It is estimated that each year about 600,000 Americans suffer from a first heart attack, and about 610,000 from a first stroke.

Taking aspirin to reduce this risk is often initiated spontaneously by Americans.

Thus, according to a 2017 study, 23.4% of adults aged 40 and over without cardiovascular disease took aspirin as a preventive measure, of which 22.8% did so without a recommendation from a healthcare professional.

© 2021 AFP

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