With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Preventive Services Task Force, which is described as a body that "reviews evidence and offers guidance for preventative healthcare services," has drafted a recommendation that "people in their 60s or older shouldn’t take aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke because risks likely cancel out the potential benefits … The draft recommendation will be open to comment for the next month or so before the task force releases a final recommendation."
The recommendation runs counter to advice that has been given by doctors for decades, that a low-dose aspirin taken once a day can lower health risks.
According to the story, "Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in the US. An estimated 605,000 people in the US have a first heart attack each year and 610,000 experience a first stroke, according to the American Heart Association. A daily dose of aspirin, a blood-thinner, has been demonstrated to lower the risk of a first heart attack or stroke, but it also can cause harms including bleeding in the stomach, intestines and brain. The risk for bleeding increases with age."
Uh-oh. I did the math, and since I started taking a baby aspirin once a day starting at age 40, it looks like I have taken close to 10,000 of the damned things.
Now they tell me.