Potential Changes to United States (US) guidance on taking daily aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke

Several news outlets recently reported that the United States (US) Preventive Services Task Force is considering making a number of changes to its guidance on taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart disease and stroke.

This group have previously recommended that adults aged 50-59 with a higher risk for cardiovascular (heart) disease take daily aspirin. On 12th October 2021, the task force posted a draft statement which changes this recommendation. The new draft guidance states that adults ages 40 to 59 who are at a higher risk for heart disease - but do not have a history of the disease - should decide with their doctor whether to start taking aspirin, based on their individual circumstances.

The draft recommendation states that when deciding whether patients should start taking aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, doctors should consider age, heart disease risk, and bleeding risk. It is also important to consider a patient’s values and preferences.

The task force also recommend that people age 60 or older should not start taking aspirin for heart disease and stroke prevention because the risk of bleeding may cancel out the benefits of preventing heart disease.

Relevance to Add-Aspirin:

This draft guidance does not impact the Add-Aspirin study, or the patients already randomised and taking part.

The Add-Aspirin study aims to find out whether taking aspirin regularly after treatment for an early stage cancer stops or delays the cancer from coming back. In patients with a previous cancer, we expect the potential benefits of aspirin to outweigh the risks.

All individuals who are invited to take part in Add-Aspirin have a consultation with their doctor about whether they are suitable for the study based on their individual circumstances. Anyone with a high risk of bleeding will not participate in the study. Participant safety is carefully monitored by our study doctors and by an independent data monitoring committee.

If you are participating in Add-Aspirin and have any questions or concerns, please talk to your study nurse or doctor.

Contact Details

If you are an individual who is interested in taking part in Add-Aspirin, please talk to your doctor who will be able to consider whether you are suitable for the trial.

For healthcare professionals

Please log into the members area for Add-Aspirin contact details.

Register Interest

For healthcare professionals

If your centre would like to recruit participants to Add-Aspirin, contact us:

Register a participant

From Monday 16th March 2020, to RANDOMISE a participant in the UK please call +44 (0)20 7670 4925, rather than the usual randomisation line.

To RANDOMISE a participant from Republic of Ireland or India only, please use the 'Register a participant' link above to randomise online. Please make sure to press 'Randomise' once logged in to the server.

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