Aspirin does not reduce heart attack, stroke risk

Aspirin does not reduce heart attack, stroke risk

"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. They noted that despite this habit, life was not prolonged for these individuals and also the risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke for the first time was not reduced. "But for the people who decide to take aspirin just off their own bat, this research has cast some doubt over whether it is a good idea".

SUNDAY, Sept. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) - There's disappointing news for seniors: A new trial shows that taking daily low-dose aspirin doesn't prolong healthy, independent living in otherwise healthy people aged 70 and older.

Aspirin has been touted as preventing heart attacks and strokes in people with vascular conditions such as coronary artery disease.

According to principal investigator Professor John McNeil, head of Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, the results of the trial will result in a rethinking of global guidelines relating to the use of aspirin to prevent common conditions associated with ageing.

In fact, the group taking aspirin had an slightly elevated risk of death compared to the placebo group (5.9% vs 5.3%).

"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", McNeil said.

It had previously been thought by many that a low daily dose of the blood-thinning medicine benefits older people. Among the people randomly assigned to take aspirin, 90.3 percent remained alive at the end of the treatment without persistent physical disability or dementia, compared with 90.5 percent of those taking a placebo. Low-dose aspirin has no effect, causes harm in some older people, study finds.

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Almost one half of the group was given 100 milligrams of aspirin while the others were given a placebo for almost five years.

The participants were then followed for an average of 4.7 years.

"Continuing follow-up of the ASPREE participants is crucial, particularly since longer term effects on risks for outcomes such as cancer and dementia may differ from those during the study to date", said Evan Hadley, M.D., director of NIA's Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology. The higher death rate in the aspirin-treated group was due primarily to a higher rate of cancer deaths.

"The bottom line is aspirin if it's taken as its supposed to be taken is beneficial", said Dr. Abe DeAnda, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery UTMB Galveston.

But the rate of major bleeding with daily aspirin use was 3.8 percent, versus 2.8 percent with placebo.

More troubling was the fact that people taking daily aspirin suffered clinically significant bleeding. 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". 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.

An aspirin a day may not keep the doctor away, new research suggests.

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