Aspirin dose every day unnecessary for healthy older people

17 Septembre, 2018, 02:53 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

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.

Some completely healthy people also choose to take aspirin to reduce their risk; and there is continuing research into whether the drug can be used to cut the risk of cancer.

The researchers noted that aspirin was associated with a significantly increased risk of bleeding, primarily in the gastrointestinal tract and brain.

The study was of 19,114 people in the U.S. and Australia in good health, with no history of heart problems and over the age of 70.

A landmark US-Australian study has found taking aspirin daily does not improve the lifespan of people over 70, with researchers warning the costs may outweigh the benefits for healthy elderly people taking the medication to stave off various conditions.

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

Scientists at Monash University in Australia enrolled 19,114 people aged 65 and older in Australia and the U.S., randomly giving them a daily low-dose aspirin or a placebo.

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Around half of the participants took a 100mg low dose of aspirin daily, while the others were given a placebo.

"Despite the fact that aspirin has been around for more than 100 years, we have not known whether healthy older people should take it as a preventive measure to keep them healthy for longer", said John McNeil, who led the trial at Monash University in Melbourne. 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. Consuming the drug might also the risk of internal bleeding, the study added.

But 3.8% of the aspirin takers experienced serious bleeding, compared with 2.8% of the placebo group.

The randomised double-blind trial, called ASPREE, was conducted by Monash University in Australia and the Berman Centre for Outcomes and Clinical Research in the United States.

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Doctor Leslie Ford, associate director for clinical research, at the National Cancer Institute in the USA, said: 'The increase in cancer deaths in study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given prior studies suggesting aspirin use improved cancer outcomes.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that people between the ages of 50 and 59 take low doses of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular problems and colorectal cancer if they have a 10 percent or greater chance of events such as heart attacks and strokes and do not have conditions that increase their chances of bleeding.

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