This is the first time the task force has recommended that adults in their 40s talk to their doctors about whether to take aspirin for heart health.
The draft also says that adults 60 and older should not start taking aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke because new evidence shows that potential harms cancel out the benefits, according to the task force.
“The latest evidence is clear: starting a daily aspirin regimen in people who are 60 or older to prevent a first heart attack or stroke is not recommended,” Task Force member Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng said in a statement. “However, this Task Force recommendation is not for people already taking aspirin for a previous heart attack or stroke; they should continue to do so unless told otherwise by their clinician.”
The draft recommendation was posted for public comments, which can be submitted from now to November 8.
“Daily aspirin use may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, but it can also cause potentially serious harms, such as internal bleeding,” Task Force member Dr. John Wong said in a statement. “It’s important that people who are 40 to 59 years old and don’t have a history of heart disease have a conversation with their clinician to decide together if starting to take aspirin is right for them.”
The last time the task force made a recommendation on the use of a daily aspirin was in 2016 when it said the decision to start taking low-dose aspirin “should be an individual one” for adults 60 to 69. At the time, the task force recommended a daily low-dose aspirin for adults ages 50 to 59 who have a 10% or greater risk of cardiovascular disease and no increased for bleeding.
Other groups previously have pointed to the risks of a daily low-dose aspirin as canceling the benefits.