Intake Of Low Dose Of Aspirin Results In Risks Exceeding Benefits

Faith Castro
September 18, 2018

"It means millions of healthy older people around the world who are taking low dose aspirin without a medical reason, may be doing so unnecessarily, because the study showed no overall benefit to offset the risk of bleeding", the researchers said in a statement. According to the study, aspirin proved ineffective for people who were suffering from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, who were on other drugs to mitigate the risk for heart diseases.

Dr Gabriel Choi Kin, former president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, said the use of low-dose aspirin for healthy elderly people was controversial.

Clinically significant bleeding - hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal hemorrhages or other hemorrhages that required transfusion or hospitalisation - occurred in 3.8 per cent on aspirin and in 2.7 per cent taking the placebo.

Half of those enrolled took low-dose aspirin - 100 milligrams - daily, while the rest took a placebo each day for an average of 4.7 years.

Those who participated in the studies were randomly given either 100mg aspirin or a placebo - both in the form of a tablet, which they took orally.

"We knew there would an increased risk of bleeding with aspirin, because there has always been", said study coauthor Dr. Anne Murray, a geriatrician and epidemiologist at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

The student was led by researched at Monash University and was publishes in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A trial of aspirin in the elderly was first called for in the early 1990s.

More news: Killer storm far from over, US officials warn as 'epic' rain falls

Contrary to popular belief, an aspirin-a-day may not quite work as a preventive in older people who have not had a heart attack.

Major hemorrhages were found to be more common in the aspirin group (8.6 versus 6.2 per 1,000 person-years, HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.18-1.62).

Using the help of Global Positioning System, researchers recruited 16,703 older people in Australian and 2411 in the United States, with approximately 9500 people in both the aspirin and the placebo group.

"ASPREE is a study that was probably long overdue", he said.

"The increase in cancer deaths in study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given prior studies suggesting aspirin use improved cancer outcomes", Leslie Ford, the associate director of clinical research at the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention, said in a news release.

For cardiovascular disease, the rate was 10.7 events per 1000 person-years in the aspirin group and 11.3 events per 1000 person-years in the placebo group - also considered no difference.

No detectable benefit seen from regular use of low-dose aspirin for people 70 and older who don't have heart disease, researchers say.For decades, a daily dose of aspirin has been widely considered a way to protect healthy people from cardiovascular disease and even cancer. "In India, self treatment with aspirin is often seen, and it should be strictly forbidden", said Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER