Healthy individuals don't need low-dose aspirin therapy

Research we're watching

Published: June, 2019

If you're healthy and don't have a history of cardiovascular disease, daily low-dose aspirin is no longer recommended as a preventive measure, says a new guideline released by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. The risks of internal bleeding and other side effects outweigh the benefits of aspirin in this group.

The new guideline, which was based on numerous recent studies, does not apply to people who have had a heart attack or stroke or who have undergone a bypass procedure. The recommendation to take low-dose aspirin therapy in this group is unchanged.

But for otherwise healthy people, it's better to stick with lifestyle changes to protect your heart. These include eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fat, lean meats, and whole grains; exercising regularly; and taking steps to keep blood pressure and cholesterol in a healthy range.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.