Wednesday September 19, 2018

Aspirin- Risks and Benefits

Biggest Studies on Aspirin Show Risks Outweigh Benefits for Many People

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Aspirin
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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Doctors have long recommended that people who have had a heart attack or stroke take a daily low-dose aspirin to help prevent further heart problems. Now major research has tested whether aspirin can help prevent first-time heart problems. The results of three separate studies show it cannot.

One study looked at more than 12,000 patients at moderate risk of heart problems because of other health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. The results showed no benefit.

Doctor J. Michael Gaziano of Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests that is because those people already were taking other medications that lowered their risk.

“Risk that a person has changes over time, and some of that change is due to some of the things that we do, like managing their risk factors and taking care of them when they develop symptoms,” Gaziano said.

Dr. Jane Armitage of the University of Oxford led another study of more than 15,000 adults with diabetes that found the benefits of aspirin were outweighed by a greater risk of serious bleeding.

“We also saw almost a 30 percent increased risk in major bleeding,” Armitage said. “So that was bleeding bad enough to get you into hospital. Mainly from the gut, or bleeding into the eye or the brain and if it was into the eye, it was bad enough to threaten your sight.”

Based on results of the studies, disclosed over the weekend at the European Society of Cardiology, doctors say aspirin best benefits patients who already have heart disease. (VOA)

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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
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)

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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