"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Research raises doubts concerning the advantages of every day aspirin for healthy adults

July 27, 2023 – Taking low-dose aspirin every day doesn’t provide significant protection against stroke and was related to a better rate of brain hemorrhage, in line with a brand new study published in JAMA.

The research findings are consistent with other evidence suggesting that healthy older adults and not using a history of heart disease or warning signs of stroke shouldn’t take low-dose aspirin.

The results also support the US Preventive Services Task Force's advice that low-dose aspirin shouldn’t be prescribed to forestall a primary heart attack or stroke in healthy older adults. The New York Times reported.

“We can say emphatically that healthy people who are not taking aspirin and who do not have multiple risk factors should not start taking it now,” Dr. Randall Stafford of Stanford University, who was not involved within the study, told the Times.

For others it isn’t so clear, he said.

“The longer you take aspirin and the more risk factors you have for heart attacks and strokes, the more dubious it becomes,” he said.

Some heart and stroke experts consider that every day aspirin should remain a part of therapy for individuals who have had a heart attack or stroke.

The JAMA report was based on data from a randomized controlled trial involving 19,000 people from Australia and America. The participants were over 70 years old and didn’t suffer from heart disease.

The data spanned a median of nearly 4.7 years and showed that aspirin reduced the incidence of ischemic stroke, but not significantly. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot forms in a blood vessel that carries blood to the brain.

In addition, individuals who took aspirin every day had a 38% higher rate of brain hemorrhage than those that took a placebo.

The Times wrote: “Some doctors once viewed aspirin as a kind of miracle drug that could protect healthy patients from future heart attacks or strokes. But recent studies have shown that the powerful drug has only limited protection in people who have not yet suffered a stroke and has dangerous side effects.”