Your Daily Aspirin Use Could Be Hurting You, Research Shows

Aspirin

Aspirin may protect against some cancers

A large clinical trial involving participants in Australia and the United States of America found a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people.

It had previously been thought by many that a low daily dose of the blood-thinning medicine benefits older people.

Instead, researchers found that aspirin use was associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the digestive tract and the brain, with 3.8 per cent of people on the drug suffering from those conditions, compared to 2.7 per cent in the placebo group.

"Cancer was the major contributor to the higher mortality in the aspirin group, accounting for 1.6 excess deaths per 1000 person-years".

Taking aspirin can help protect older adults who have suffered heart attacks, strokes and related complications in the past.

Daily aspirin is recommended for people between 50 and 69 if they are at increased risk of heart disease, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a guideline-setting expert panel. However, studies in younger people showed that the risks outweighed the benefits and the new research confirms that the same is true for the elderly.

Many healthyAmericans take a baby aspirin every day to reduce their risk of having a heart attack, getting cancer and even possibly dementia.

New seven year long study has found aspirin medication doesn't make seniors live longer. The trial cohort was a median age 74 years at the time of enrollment in 2010-2014; 56.4% were women and 91.3% were white.

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Doctors unexpectedly also found that the group taking aspirin died at a slightly higher rate than the placebo group, with most of those deaths attributed to cancer. Rates of physical disability were similar, and rates of dementia were nearly identical in both groups.

The big difference between the groups was in the rate of internal bleeding.

The study also discovered an increase in deaths from cancer, although the researchers think this needs further investigation as it goes against current findings in the field.

While it was speculated that pre-existing cancers may have interacted with the aspirin, the exact reason was not established.

These initial findings from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial, partially supported by the National Institutes of Health, were published online on September 16, 2018 in three papers in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Continuing follow-up of the ASPREE participants is crucial, said Dr. Evan Hadley, director of NIA's Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology. However, more research was needed to investigate its use more thoroughly.

However anybody who is taking aspirin should speak to their prescriber before ceasing the medication, says AMA president Dr Tony Bartone.

The researchers are not recommending that if you are healthy and taking daily aspirin you should necessarily stop. Blood clots can form when an artery is narrowed by cholesterol. -Australian study of more than 19,000 volunteers. But for healthy patients who have not had a heart attack or stroke and who are not at high risk, "I would consider taking them off", said Dave, director of interventional cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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