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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

People 60 and older should not take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, according to a working recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Why it matters: It's a revision of the panel's 2016 recommendation that recommended some people take baby aspirin daily to prevent heart disease and colorectal cancer.

The big picture: Based on new evidence, the task force said daily low-dose aspirin in people 60 years or older has no net benefit due to an increased risk of a bleeding event, such as gastrointestinal bleeding or an intracranial hemorrhage, occurring.

  • Daily use in adults ages 40–59 who have a 10% or greater risk of experiencing their first cardiovascular event over the next 10 years has a small net benefit, though the task force said such people should consult a doctor before beginning a daily regimen.
  • Individuals currently taking daily aspirin should talk to their doctor before changing their medication regimen.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the U.S., and an estimated 605,000 Americans have a first heart attack and about 610,000 experience a first stroke every year.

The panel, which is comprised of disease prevention experts from around the U.S., is independent of the government and its recommendations are not the official positions of federal health agencies.

  • The Food and Drug Administration in 2014 began recommending against using aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke but said available evidence indicated that the drug could prevent additional heart attacks or strokes in patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke.
  • The panel's recommendation on aspirin is not final, as it is still accepting public comments on the change.

Go deeper: More elderly Americans are taking drugs that lead to falls, study finds

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that individuals currently taking aspirin should talk to their doctor before changing their medication regimen.

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2021 - Health

CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday strengthened its previous recommendation for booster shots, saying that everyone 18 and older "should" receive a booster dose.

Why it matters: Last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky accepted a key advisory committee's recommendation that adults "may" get the shot. The slight, but strengthened, change in wording comes amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

20 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.

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