In my practice (US outpatient neurology), I've noticed a recent trend of patients self-discontinuing low-dose aspirin after reading a lay press article about the 2019 ACC/AHA updated guidelines. These guidelines are pretty nuanced and recommend a 10-year ASCVD risk estimation prior to determining the appropriateness of aspirin. Nonetheless, many articles in the lay literature skipped to the attention-grabbing headline that a daily aspirin is not recommended for healthy adults with low ASCVD risk.
The part about low ASCVD risk seems to have been lost on many patients. I have seen about 4 or 5 patients with prior history of stroke/TIA who decided that they should stop their aspirin based on something they read within the past year. All of them seem to have done this based on their reading, without consulting their PCP or any other physician. Many of them then went on to have an additional stroke or TIA within the next 6 months after stopping aspirin. My evidence is anecdotal, but I wonder what the burden of increased stroke/MI has been as a result of the lay press' reporting on the updated guidelines. Most of the articles I can find do mention at some point that patients with history of stroke/MI should continue their antiplatelet meds, but usually this is buried in the bottom of the article, and I'm guessing my patients didn't quite make it that far.
Has anyone else seen this trend, or is it just me?
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