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  • Cameron Oglesby

Millions of seniors are taking a drug that doctors stopped recommending years ago

Two weeks ago, I posted a bog about the millions of seniors who skip drugs that have been prescribed for them. Now I've found out about the other sider of the story:

About 1 in 4 older adults regularly take low-dose aspirin at least three times a week according to the University of Michigan's National Poll on Health Aging, as a preventive against heart disease and stroke.

Most of them shouldn't.

That's because medical science marches on, and a new consensus on low-dose aspirin has radically changed. Instead of being those harmless little whits pills, in people who haven"t had strokes or heart attacks they can increase the risks of dangerous bleeding – in the abdomen and brains – which outweighs the benefits of preventing heart attacks and strokes.

The US Preventive Services Task Force now recommends against aspirin in adults 60 or

older. While the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology offer 10-year estimates of a person's risk of heart disease.

According to the poll, 57% ages 50 to 80 who take aspirin regularly don't have a history of heart disease, as are 42% of all adults 75 to 80 . About 31% of adults 50 to 80 who don't know about its bleeding risk, and 71% of older adults started taking it four or more years ago, before the guidelines had changed. Of these, 20% said they had startd doing in on their own, and 5% said they it on the advice of family and friends.

So if you haven't discussed this with your doctor recently, you definitely should.

"As guidelines change, it's important for everyone over 40 to talk with their ealth care provider about their individual cardiovascular risk based on on their family history, past health issues, current medications, recent test results like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, and lifestyle factors like smoking, physical activity and eating habits," said Dr, Geoffrey Barnes, a Michigan Medicine cardiologist.

"Aspirin is no longer a one-size-fits-all preventive tool for older adults, which for decades it was once touted as," said Dr. Jordan Schaefer, a hematologist at Michigan Medicine.

Of course, one-size-fits-all isn't confined to the medical profession. You'll find that many senior care services take the same approach. But not Senior insights. Instead, before we recommend anything we get to know practically everything about our clients and their families, through our thorough three-part needs survey. Then, we custom-design a care plan just for them (and you). This plan is built around not only your physical, cognitive and psysocial needs, but also your likes and dislikes, your schedule, your hobbies, and much more.

So please contact us – right after you've contacted you doctor..

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