An Aspirin a Day Won't Make Healthy Adults Live Longer, Study Shows

An Aspirin a Day Won't Make Healthy Adults Live Longer, Study Shows

An Aspirin a Day Won't Make Healthy Adults Live Longer, Study Shows

Professor John McNeil, one of the researchers at Monash University in Australia, told The Independent that despite the fact that aspirin has been around for more than 100 years, it was never clear whether healthy older people should take it as a preventative measure to keep them healthier for longer.

The study found a daily low dose of aspirin did not reduce risks of certain diseases and medical problems in older people.

Major risks of bleeding in people who consume aspirin on a daily basis overwhelm its benefits.

The results of the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly trial were published in three papers in the New England Journal of Medicine. And 5.9% of those taking aspirin died during the study, compared to 5.2% of the placebo-takers. But it had been unclear whether healthy people older than 70 would derive the same benefit.

There's a common belief a low dose of aspirin a day helps seniors live longer, but a new study has found it does nothing of the sort. "Aspirin is a double-edged sword; it is absolutely essential drug and a lifesaver in patients with established heart disease (or arterial blockages) and many patients with diabetes where risk is high". They were followed for a median of 4.7 years.

The study also showed slightly higher rates of death in those taking aspirin, primarily from cancer, although the results were not statistically significant, he said. The authors said that "these findings should be interpreted with caution" until more studies are completed, particularly because other research has concluded that the drug helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Experts last night urged people to take medical advice from their before deciding whether or not to use aspirin regularly.

"The concern has been uncertainty about whether aspirin is beneficial for otherwise healthy older people without those conditions", director Dr. Richard J. Hodes of the National Institute on Aging, which partially funded the study and is part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a press release. The minimum age for Caucasian participants was 70 and 65 for African-American and Hispanic volunteers, due to their higher risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease.

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

"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. For adults 60 to 69, the task force recommended the decision should be made on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has been unable to make a recommendation for those 70 and older because there is so little research on the population.

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.

"The rate of adherence to the assigned intervention was 62.1% in the aspirin group and 64.1% in the placebo group in the final year of trial participation".

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