If you suffer from heart disease or you are part of the at-risk population, chances are, you’ve heard of daily aspirin therapy. Perhaps this is something that has been prescribed to you by a doctor as part of a long-term treatment plan, or maybe it’s just something that you came across while researching your condition on the Internet. Either way, you might not know about the possible dangers that can arise from taking this medicine daily.
According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that daily low-dose aspirin regimens, particularly in elderly adults, do absolutely nothing to promote survival. On the contrary, taking these tiny pills every day could actually end up doing much more harm than good.
The study, which was conducted by researchers working at Monash University in Australia, included a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The participants consisted of a pool of 20,000 Americans with a median age of 74. As these studies go, half of the group was given a placebo, while the other half was given the standard dose of “baby aspirin” (81 mg) that is typically prescribed to patients at risk for having a heart attack.
After 5 years, researchers concluded that there was no significant difference in health between either group–except that the group that had taken the daily aspirin had a higher rate of bleeding than the others. In fact, a second study showed that the ones on the aspirin regimen had a significantly higher risk of hemorrhaging than the others. A third study even revealed that the cancer risk could be higher, too, though there will still need to be more research done in order for that variable to be acknowledged.
So, what does this all mean for all of those on daily low-dose aspirin treatment plans? Researchers say that personal doctors must be consulted first before the patient makes a decision. In other words, if you or someone you know takes aspirin daily, go to your doctor prior to stopping.
What are your thoughts on this low-dose aspirin danger? Are you on an aspirin treatment plan? If so, have you experienced any bleeding? Do you plan on discussing these findings with your doctor?