Daily aspirin may be harmful for healthy, older adults, large study finds

Daily aspirin may be harmful for healthy, older adults, large study finds

Daily aspirin may be harmful for healthy, older adults, large study finds

They found that the rates for major cardiovascular events, which including coronary heart disease, nonfatal heart attacks, and fatal and nonfatal ischemic stroke, were similar in both groups.

Significant bleeding, a known risk of regular aspirin use, was associated with a significantly increased risk, primarily in the gastrointestinal tract and brain.

The clinical trial, which ran from 2010 to 2014 and included 19,114 individuals 70 years and older from the USA and Australia, found that a low daily dose of aspirin only marginally decreased a patient's risk of cardiovascular disease while significantly increasing the patient's risk of hemorrhage. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US.

Even worse, a third study on the topic found that those who used aspirin each day had a "higher all-cause mortality" among seemingly healthy older people than those who did not take aspirin.

The trial followed 19,114 seniors - 2,411 from the US and 16,703 Australians - for an average of 4.7 years.

"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", McNeil said.

Three reports in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the pills did not reduce their risk of heart problems or have any other benefits.


"But in Hong Kong, the traditional teaching is to recommend aspirin to prevent recurrence of heart attack or stroke", Choi said, adding he believed aspirin did not have to be given to healthy people.

Instead, there was a slight increase in the incidence of serious bleeding: 3.8% in the aspirin group and 2.8% in the placebo group. As new preventive opportunities arise they will typically require large clinical trials, and the structure of the Australian health system has proven an ideal setting for this type of study.

"It has been obvious since the 1990s that there was a need for a trial of aspirin for primary prevention in people age 70 and over".

Participants took either aspirin or a placebo daily over a four-and-a-half year period.

"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. Numerous extra deaths were due to cancer, but Leslie Ford from the National Cancer Institute in Maryland said that until the team had analysed more data, the cancer findings "should be interpreted with caution".

Professor John McNeil, head of Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, said the research sought to answer a question which has been "unresolved for a number of years".

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.

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