Millions of healthy older people with no history of heart attack or stroke now take aspirin in the hope it will reduce their risk and prolong good health.
Popping an aspirin pill everyday doesn't help older people to live longer and it may even have the opposite effect, a new study reveals.
Rates of cardiovascular events, such as coronary heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, were similar across both groups, the study found. And it had been apparent since the 1990s there was a lack of adequate evidence to support the use of low-dose aspirin in healthy older people.
But the new global study followed 19,114 seniors for an average of 4.7 years.
Peter Rothwell, professor of neurology at the Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia at the University of Oxford, said taking the tablets if healthy, over the age of 70 and have not had a previous heart attack or stroke, is "really of very little benefit". Hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal bleeding and bleeding in other sites that required transfusion or hospitalization occurred in 361, or 3.8 percent, of participant in the aspirin-treated group and 265, or 2.7 percent, of those in the placebo group.
There was also a small increase in the number of cancer deaths in the aspirin-treated group, the New York Times reports.
Doctors last night said the findings "emphatically" showed there was no reason to use aspirin to prevent disease in healthy people and warned it may harm.
McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the long-term benefits and risks of its daily use.
The first study comes from Monash University in Australia, where researchers followed almost 20,000 people across Australia and the USA for a period of five years.
An aspirin a day may not keep the doctor away, new research suggests.
The researchers did not state whether healthy older people who have been taking aspirin should stop. Bleeding is a well-known side effect of aspirin, and is more common in older people.
However, as per the trio of studies says that consuming a very low level of aspirin everyday can lead to noteworthy health advantage for blooming older adults. The difference wasn't statistically significant, meaning it could have been due to chance.
A trial of aspirin in the elderly was first called for in the early 1990s.
One of the more unexpected findings of the study was that people who took aspirin were slightly more likely to have died over the course of the trial from any cause (5.9 percent) than those who took the placebo (5.2 percent).
No individual component of the primary endpoint made a case for the benefit of aspirin, which failed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well (10.7 versus 11.3 events per 1,000 person-years, HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.83-1.08).
A DAILY aspirin will not lower the risk of death or heart attacks in healthy older people but will increase the risk of internal bleeding, a major Australian-American study has found.