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New Aspirin Recommendation Can Help Prevent Heart Attacks & Strokes, Says Partnership for Prevention
Date:3/16/2009

WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) underscores the value of regular aspirin use in preventing heart attacks and strokes among many adults, the head of Partnership for Prevention said today.

The USPSTF found that regular aspirin use reduces first heart attacks in men and first strokes in women. The recommendation applies to men between the ages of 45 and 79 and to women 55 to 79. Aspirin should be used when the benefits outweigh the harms for potential gastrointestinal bleeding.

"Encouraging doctors to discuss daily aspirin use with their patients is an important way to help people live longer and healthier lives," said Partnership Interim President Corinne G. Husten, MD, MPH. "We need to make sure that the health reform debate now gathering momentum in Congress gives top priority to increasing the delivery of clinically effective and highly cost-effective preventive services such as regular aspirin use."

The new recommendation underscores the importance of healthcare providers discussing aspirin use with patients. A 2007 study sponsored by the American College of Preventive Medicine found that the factor most strongly associated with appropriate aspirin use is a conversation about aspirin between a patient and healthcare provider. The recommendation will help clinicians assess individuals' risk for heart disease and stroke, and it gives clinicians guidance about age- and gender-specific benefits and harms of aspirin use.

A separate study by Partnership for Prevention found that if 90 percent of people who should be taking aspirin were taking aspirin, an additional 45,000 lives would be saved each year. Currently, less than half of people who should be taking aspirin regularly are actually taking it.

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SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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