Who Should Take Daily Aspirin? Uncertainty Still Remains

What is Aspirin's Effect on Colon Cancer?
The new draft guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend adults between the ages of 50-59 take aspirin if they have at least a 10% 10-year risk of having a heart attack or stroke as measured by a risk calculator .

We’ve known for a long time that aspirin can help prevent damage from a heart attack or a stroke if taken during one of those events. In fact, you might have seen ads about how aspirin can be lifesaving during a heart attack.

Research backs that up. For people who have already experienced a heart attack or stroke, a daily aspirin regimen can actually prevent future heart attacks and strokes.

But, as helpful as aspirin is to prevent recurrent heart attacks or strokes (this is called secondary prevention), a daily aspirin has long been controversial to prevent a first heart attack or stroke (this is called primary prevention).

To use aspirin for primary prevention, doctors are supposed to assess a patient’s risk of a first heart attack or stroke and decide when benefits of aspirin outweigh risks. But new draft guidelines for aspirin use have created confusion about who, exactly, should actually take aspirin.