(CNN) – Daily low-dose aspirin is no longer recommended as a preventative for older adults who don’t have a high risk of heart disease or existing heart disease.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced the new guidelines Sunday.
The guidelines say doctors may consider aspirin for certain older high-risk patients, including those having trouble lowering their cholesterol or managing blood sugar.
That’s as long as there is no increased risk for internal bleeding.
"Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease," said John Hopkins cardiologist Dr. Roger Blumenthal, who co-chaired the new guidelines. “It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin.”
But for anyone who’s had a stroke, heart attack, open-heart surgery or stents inserted to open clogged arteries, aspirin can be life-saving.