It’s hard to believe that precautionary news about a simple aspirin a day has been published. Aspirin has always been thought to be a ‘wonder drug,’ effective for so many maladies.
And for most people, it’s probably just fine.
What’s alarming is that for decades, a daily low-dose of aspirin has been widely considered a way to protect healthy people from cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
But a large international study released in mid-September (2018) finds that even at low doses, long-term use of aspirin may be harmful — without providing any benefit — for older people who have not already had a heart attack or stroke.
Older patients experienced no health benefits from taking aspirin, according to the new report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“We knew there would an increased risk of bleeding with aspirin, because there has always been,” said study coauthor Dr. Anne Murray, a geriatrician and epidemiologist at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. “But not only did (the study show a) decrease (in the) risk of disability or death, it did not decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke, and there was an increase in the rate of death.”
“For healthy people 70 and older who don’t have a reason to be on aspirin, such as a previous heart attack or stroke, there was no discernible benefit.”
The current guidelines recommend a daily aspirin for adults in their 50s who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a history of smoking. The new study was designed to find out whether low-dose aspirin could prolong healthy, independent living in seniors who had not shown signs of heart disease.
There was also an increase in cancer deaths in the aspirin-treated group, which surprised the researchers. Previous studies have found that aspirin may be protective against certain kinds of cancer.
PLEASE NOTE that Tauber Law Offices is providing this material for ‘informational purposes’ only. Before making a decision about the use of aspirin – or any drug – please discuss it with your own doctor.
There are medicines that have caused illness — or even death — due to manufacturing errors, lack of adequate research, or through a misdiagnosis. When it is a case of negligence, Tauber Law is here to provide you with support and guidance. If you have a case, we will aggressively defend you with the goal of providing compensation and justice for the mistake.
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