Monday December 17, 2018

Aspirin Doesn’t Prevent Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases, says Study

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use

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Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
Aspirin pills are arranged on a counter in New York, Aug. 23, 2018. New studies find most people won't benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. (VOA)
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Australia’s largest clinical trial has concluded that taking a daily dose of aspirin does not reduce the chance of death, disability or cardiovascular disease, the results of a five-year study revealed on Monday.

Led by researchers at Monash University and involving more than 19,000 participants, the study known as Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE), did reveal a slightly increased risk of major bleeding problems, reports Xinhua news agency.

Head of Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, John McNeil said that the trial was long overdue and he hopes that the results will help inform prescribing doctors who have long been uncertain whether to recommend the drug to otherwise healthy patients.

“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,” McNeil said.

Aspirin
Aspirin doesn’t reduce heart attack risk: Australian study. Pixabay

“Aspirin is the most widely used of all preventive drugs and an answer to this question is long overdue — ASPREE has provided this answer.”

Aside from the risk of major bleeding problems which rose from 2.8 to 3.8 per cent, no other significant differences were observed between the placebo group and those taking the aspirin.

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Researchers have noted that the results only apply to those over 70 years of age who are otherwise healthy and not to those with existing conditions such as a previous heart attack, angina or stroke, where aspirin is recommended as a valuable preventive drug.

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use. (IANS)

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Aspirin Considered Safe in Lowering Bowel Cancer Risk

Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk

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Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
Aspirin pills are arranged on a counter in New York, Aug. 23, 2018. New studies find most people won't benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. (VOA)

Intake of aspirin and omega-3 is safe and effective at reducing chances of bowel cancer in high-risk patients, according to a new clinical trial.

In the trial, published in the journal The Lancet, these low-cost drugs reduced the number of pre-cancerous polyps — a small growth, usually benign — in patients found to be at high risk of developing bowel cancer.

The findings showed that patients who took aspirin had 22 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Those who took omega-3, also called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) had 9 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Although aspirin and EPA had beneficial effects on polyp numbers individually, the combination of aspirin and EPA together appeared to have an even greater effect, as it provided another layer of prevention, alongside colonoscopy, the researchers said.

“The trial demonstrates that both aspirin and EPA have preventative effects, which is particularly exciting given that they are both relatively cheap and safe compounds to give to patients,” said Mark Hull, Professor at the University of Leeds in the UK.

In the trial the team included over 700 patients, all of whom had a higher risk of developing bowel cancer after having a colonoscopy.

Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Aspirin and omega-3 safe, lower bowel cancer risk: Study. Pixabay

Participants took either a 300 milligram aspirin tablet, 2 grams EPA in four capsules, a combination of both aspirin and EPA, or placebos only.

The results showed both aspirin and omega-3 reduced the number of bowel polyps in patients one year on from a screening colonoscopy (large bowel camera test).

However, they did not reduce the chances of an individual having any polyps present in the bowel.

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Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk.

However, individuals who took EPA on its own had a slight increase in stomach upset symptoms.

Further research is needed to test aspirin and EPA treatment together for polyp prevention, the researchers noted. (IANS)