For people without heart disease, a new study found taking low-dose aspirin is associated with an increased risk for bleeding within the skull.
Patients with a low body mass index or Asian backgrounds face the highest risk, according to the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology.
The report follows the American Heart Association's recommendation for adults older than 70 not to take regular low-dose aspirin to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The March guidelines followed a clinical trial concluding daily low doses of the medication could be linked to major hemorrhages and did not prolong life in healthy, elderly people.
Reversed recommendation: Don't take an aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks and strokes
Researchers studied 13 clinical trials with a total of about 134,000 patients without a history of strokes or heart disease. Those who took a placebo had a 0.46% risk of having a head bleed during all the tests combined. Those who took low-dose aspirin faced a 0.63% risk, meaning an additional 2 out of every 1,000 people suffered from intracerebral hemorrhage.
Death and functional dependency are linked to bleeding within the skull, researchers said.
For those who have experienced a stroke or heart attack, doctors sometimes still prescribe a daily low dose of aspirin to prevent another, according to the American Heart Association. A low dose of aspirin is considered to be between 75 and 100 milligrams.
Doctors may also give aspirin to patients with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and low risk of bleeding, as a preventative measure, cardiologist Roger Blumenthal said in a statement.
Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar and trans fats can also prevent cardiovascular disease, according to the heart association.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Low-dose aspirin may be linked to bleeding in the skull, new study finds