ibusinesslines.com October 23, 2018

Aspirin doesn't reduce heart attack risk: Australian study

20 September 2018, 08:43 | Melissa Porter

Aspirin doesn't reduce heart attack risk: Australian study

The use of aspirin by healthy people over 70 had no real impact on a person's likelihood to suffer from heart disease

People are prescribed aspirin after a heart attack or stroke because the drug thins the blood and reduces the chances of a repeat attack.

"Bleeding is a well-known side effect of aspirin, and is more common in older people".

These initial findings from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial, partially supported by the National Institutes of Health, were published online on September 16, 2018 in three papers in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Ultimately according to third study escalated all-cause mortality amid evidently wholesome older adults who secured daily aspirin as compared to those consuming placebo and was assigned mainly to cancer related deaths.

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone the benefits of aspirin were known as a secondary prevention, or a useful drug for people with existing cardiovascular issues.

"[The study] has provided this answer".

Taking aspirin every day does not significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke in healthy people over 70, a study has found.

The trial has "provided convincing evidence that aspirin is ineffective in preserving good health in elderly people without a medical (reason) to be using it", chief author Dr. John J. McNeil of Monash University in Melbourne told Reuters Health in an email. "There is no evidence that people from Asia (or India) reacted any differently to aspirin", he said. There's also a possibility that any colorectal cancer benefit wasn't seen because the subjects had only been followed for about five years.

"After a median of 4.7 years of follow-up, the rate of cardiovascular disease was 10.7 events per 1000 person years in the aspirin group and 11.3 events per 1000 person years in the placebo group". They did, however, document a higher rate of bleeding in the group that received aspirin, compared to the group that received a placebo.

When the researchers looked at death, disability and dementia, they found virtually no difference between the aspirin-taking group and the group given a placebo: 21.5 events per 1000 person-years in the former and 21.2 per 1000 person-years in the latter. One cardiologist not involved with the study notes that in the time since the original research on aspirin was done, patients can now take other medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and suggests it's time to "phase out" the broad use of preventative daily aspirin.

The findings could lead to a rethink of global guidelines relating to the use of aspirin to prevent common conditions associated with ageing.

Low-dose aspirin or around 100 mg of aspirin is taken regularly by millions of people around the globe to prevent the first heart attack or stroke and also to prolong life and ensure better health.

The study was done on Caucasians, but its findings may not be too different in an Indian population, said McNeil, responding to a query.

"These findings will help inform prescribing doctors, who have always been uncertain about whether to recommend aspirin to healthy patients who do not have a clear medical reason for doing so". Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said Monash University was at the forefront of healthcare improvement underpinned by the quality and scale of our research capabilities in this space.

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