Western Mass News is getting answers from a cardiologist on this updated recommendation.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- New research coming out Tuesday, medical advice that is shifting against the use of daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks.

Western Mass News is getting answers from a cardiologist on this updated recommendation.

“One of the reasons the data of aspirin has been getting weaker is that we have other therapies for heart disease which really work,” Baystate Medical Center Preventative Cardiologist Dr. Quinn Pack said.

New guidance released on Tuesday that older adults without heart disease should not take aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks.

If finalized, this advice would discount previous recommendations that a low dose of aspirin taken daily would prevent a first heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Pack said this guidance is specifically for those without diagnosed heart disease.

“We are only talking about patients who do not have established vascular disease. So this only applies to people who are otherwise healthy. It does not apply to people who have had a heart attack, stroke, a stent, a bypass surgery, or a blocked artery in the leg or in the neck,” Dr. Pack said.

The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force released a draft recommendation with two main proposed changes to the existing guidance.

“If you are over age 60 and you do not have established vascular disease, that the risk outweighs the benefit. If you are between age 40 and 59 and you have an elevated risk of heart disease, you can have an informed discussion, and it might be the right decision,” Dr. Pack said.

But Dr. Pack said that for 90 percent of people in the 40 to 59 age range as well as some adults over 60, the risks of aspirin outweigh the benefits.

“I take an aspirin today, and I might prevent a heart attack six years from now. But I take an aspirin today, and my chance for bleeding goes up right away. So the side effects are immediate the benefit is potentially long-term,” Dr. Pack explained.

He said it is still important to have a discussion with your doctor if you are taking aspirin.

“If you were told by your doctor to take aspirin and you’re in that age category then continue to do it. If you were taking aspirin because you just thought it was a good idea and you heard on the news that taking an aspirin a day keeps the doctor away, stop taking the aspirin,” Dr. Pack said.

This guidance will allow for public comments from now until November 8. Then the group will evaluate input and make a final decision. Dr. Pack said he expects it to be finalized.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and weather.  Download the Western Mass News App

You can now get the latest Western Mass News headlines on Alexa.  Click here to activate the skill.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Copyright 2021 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(1) comment


SOOOOO all of a sudden aspirin, that has been touted to reduce heart disease "but talk to your Dr." and now there is talk that it will reduce the deadliest pandemic humankind has ever seen and now is in the news as not being effective, who's paying for these PSA's PFIZER????

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.