Your Daily Aspirin Use Could Be Hurting You, Research Shows
Your Daily Aspirin Use Could Be Hurting You, Research Shows
Aspirin doesn't lower heart attack and stroke risks and can increase bleeding
18 September, 2018, 23:57
Those who do not have a risk of heart disease or dementia, suffered a stroke, or have a "persistent physical disability", are at greater risk of suffering a bleed due to taking aspirin daily and are not proactively prolonging their lives by using it as a preventative measure.
'This study shows why it is so important to conduct this type of research, so that we can gain a fuller picture of aspirin's benefits and risks among healthy older persons'.
"It has been known long enough that there was no clear reason to advice one way or another on taking an aspirin a day in older people", John McNeil, principal investigator and head of Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, toldBusinessLine.
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"[The study] has provided this answer". "But not only did it not decrease risk of disability or death, it did not decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke, and there was an increase in the rate of death".
But when researchers looked at more than 19,000 people in Australia and the United States over almost five years, they found it wasn't so.
The results of the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial have been published in three papers in the New England Journal of Medicine. Hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal bleeding and bleeding in other sites that required transfusion or hospitalization occurred in 361, or 3.8 percent, of participant in the aspirin-treated group and 265, or 2.7 percent, of those in the placebo group.
The first study comes from Monash University in Australia, where researchers followed almost 20,000 people across Australia and the US for a period of five years. They noted however the escalated rate of bleeding in the team that accrued aspirin, as compared to the team that accrued a placebo.
Although the study showed obvious risks of taking aspirin, McNeil remained convinced that the drug is a relatively safe medication to use.
Major risks of bleeding in people who consume aspirin on a daily basis overwhelm its benefits.
Aspirin-related compounds have been used for the treatment of pain since the 16th century BC, when it was reported that people chewed on the bark of willow and papyrus.
But the odds of a major bleeding episode were 38 per cent higher with aspirin.
"If [a person has] been prescribed aspirin by their doctor they should assume there's a good reason".
The study was of 19,114 people in the United States and Australia in good health, with no history of heart problems and over the age of 70.
"The increase in cancer deaths in study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given prior studies suggesting aspirin use improved cancer outcomes", Dr. Leslie Ford, associate director for clinical research in the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention, said.
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