Advice about taking aspirin and statins after age 75

These drugs are mainstays for preventing heart disease. Are they safe and effective in older people?

Low-dose aspirin and statins are both common, inexpensive drugs that help prevent the two root causes of most heart attacks — blood clots and cholesterol-laden plaque clogging the arteries of the heart. In recent years, a number of studies have helped experts refine their advice as to who should or should not take these medications.

However, evidence-based advice for people in their mid-70s and beyond is a bit harder to come by. Historically, most drug trials have included only a small proportion of people 75 and older, in part because there are fewer people in that age demographic. Also, older people tend to have other chronic health conditions. As such, they may be more prone to drug side effects, making doctors reluctant to enroll them in clinical trials.

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