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In people aged 75 or over, long-term daily aspirin use is linked to a higher than expected risk of disabling or fatal bleeding, according to a new study in The Lancet.

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While short-term aspirin use after a stroke or heart attack has clear benefits, the authors say that patients over 75 who take aspirin on a daily basis should be prescribed a proton-pump inhibitor (heartburn drugs) to reduce the risk of bleeding.

Roughly 40-60% of adults aged 75 or older in the USA or Europe take daily aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Lifelong treatment with antiplatelet drugs is recommended for patients who have previously had a heart attack or stroke (so-called secondary prevention).

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