Experts have now come forward urging people against the antiquated practice as the risk of serious side effects far outweigh any benefits.
A reverse effect
For a long time, medical experts believed that the blood-thinning effect of taking low doses of aspirin daily was conducive to preventing blood clots and reduced the risk of heart attacks or strokes. John Wong from the Preventive Services Task Force, a US government expert panel, explained:
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.
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.
Since 2016, the task force had been recommending people over the age of 50 to incorporate a low dose of aspirin into their diets to strengthen their heart health. Low doses are considered to be anywhere between 81 and 100 milligrams of the drug.
Experts advised those that have already been taking baby aspirin daily to consult their doctors before stopping suddenly as this can also lead to other health issues:
We don’t recommend anyone stop without talking to a clinician, and definitely not if they have already had a heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Andrew Chan, director of cancer epidemiology at Mass General Cancer Center:
This again highlights that we need to think about personalizing who we give aspirin to, and move away from a one-size-fits-all solution.