Should Older Adults Take Aspirin Daily to Avoid Heart Attacks & Strokes?

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Many seniors believe they can stave off heart attacks and strokes by simply taking an aspirin each day. This idea was encouraged by doctors who advised people to do this for years, but researchers are beginning to find that the initial science behind this concept might have been flawed. Before your aging loved one starts taking a daily aspirin, there are a few things you need to know.

How Does Aspirin Affect Heart Attack or Stroke Risk?

The idea behind the daily aspirin theory is essentially that aspirin stops blood clots. This medication keeps the body from clotting blood as easily, so hypothetically, it could keep blood clots from forming in the veins, which could lower the risk of clogging arteries and veins that lead to the heart and brain. Therefore, for many decades, doctors recommended taking aspirin daily to avoid a heart attack or stroke.

For aging adults who want to lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes by adopting healthier lifestyle habits, a trained caregiver can be a tremendous asset. In Centennial, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Are There Risks to Taking a Daily Aspirin?

It might seem like it’s a good idea to take an aspirin each day, but there could be some negative results. In a statement released by the American College of Cardiology, doctors reversed former recommendations because of concerns that a daily aspirin could increase the risk of hemorrhages without actually helping much. A 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined almost 20,000 seniors over the course of five years and found that people who took aspirin didn’t reduce heart attack and stroke risks but did increase hemorrhage risks. There are also some concerns that regular aspirin consumption may worsen gastritis or ulcers. 

Digestive issues can be especially problematic for aging adults. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Centennial seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

How Can You Tell if Your Loved One Should Be Taking Aspirin Each Day?

Keep in mind aspirin may not reduce heart attack and stroke risks for the average person, but it may be helpful for those who have already had heart attacks or strokes. Those who already have a far higher risk of cardiovascular issues, including seniors who have had a heart attack, experienced a stroke, or smoke tobacco, may still get some benefits from taking a daily aspirin. Seniors can talk to their doctors to see if the pros outweigh the cons.

What Do Cardiologists Recommend Seniors Do Now?

Since the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have reversed their former recommendations, many seniors are left feeling confused. If your loved one is in the group of people who should no longer be taking aspirin, these cardiologist associations have some other recommendations instead. They suggest that the most important way to reduce heart attack and stroke risk is to make lifestyle changes. Seniors who maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat a vegetable-rich diet, and avoid the consumption of tobacco, sugar, and trans fats can lower their heart attack risk without the negative side effects of aspirin.

A healthy diet and exercise are critical for seniors who are working to lower their risk of heart attack and stroke. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Centennial, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (303) 957-3100 today.