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New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and two other major medical associations advise not prescribing low-dose aspirin therapy for women under 60 or men under 50 who have diabetes but no other risks for heart disease.
Based on conclusions drawn from nine medical studies, the ADA, along with the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation, found that the risks of prescribing aspirin, such as stomach bleeding, outweigh the benefit in otherwise healthy younger patients with type 2 diabetes.
Low-dose aspirin has been a staple prescription for millions of Americans since a series of studies in the late 20th century showed that the drug can act as a blood-thinning agent. As such, it can stave off or help ease the worst effects of a heart attack by allowing some blood to pass through clogged arteries.
Typically, doctors prescribe "baby doses" of aspirin-81 mg versus standard 325 mg aspirin pills-once daily for men ages 45 to 79 and women ages 55 to 79. However, in the case of people with diabetes who may already be taking blood pressure and cholesterol control medications, aspirin's benefits may be minimal.
In the case of diabetes patients who are at risk of heart disease, the guidelines say that the standard 81 mg dose remains adequate and does not need to be increased.
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Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.