Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Intake Of Low Dose Of Aspirin Results In Risks Exceeding Benefits

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.

Dr Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) in the U.S., said: 'Clinical guidelines note the benefits of aspirin for preventing heart attacks and strokes in persons with vascular conditions such as coronary artery disease.

The research was led by Monash University in Australia and the Berman Centre for Outcomes and Clinical Research in the US.

"The trial was terminated at a median of 4.7 years of follow-up after a determination was made that there would be no benefit with continued aspirin use with regard to the primary end point", the authors noted in a report published online in the New England Journal of Medicine (one of three covering various aspects of the trial).

The study focused on the use of aspirin as a preventative medication for by elderly people who have not previously suffered a heart attack or a stroke.

Extra cases of cancer were the chief reason for the higher death rate, with 3.1 per cent of aspirin users dying of cancer versus 2.3 per cent in the control group.

Lead researcher Professor John McNeil, of Monash University, Australia, said the findings show many older people may be taking the medicine "unnecessarily".

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. "Aspirin is the most widely used of all preventive drugs and an answer to this question is long overdue".

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Undeniably the second study features that the probability of vital hemorrhage was crucially higher with aspirin as compared to placebo.

People are prescribed aspirin after a heart attack or stroke because the drug thins the blood and reduces the chances of a repeat attack.

Ultimately according to third study escalated all-cause mortality amid evidently wholesome older adults who secured daily aspirin as compared to those consuming placebo and was assigned mainly to cancer related deaths.

The findings would help inform prescribing doctors who have been uncertain about recommending aspirin to healthy patients who do not have a clear medical reason for it.

"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".

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.

"If they have such disease in the past, they need to take the aspirin to prevent the recurrence of similar disease in the future", he said. 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".

"We know that the evidence for the use of aspirin in those patients, who already had heart disease or other circulatory issues, they can actually prevent secondary issues, secondary episodes of either heart attacks or strokes happening in those patients", he said.

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