Just-in-case aspirin may do as much harm as good, say researchers

Older people are advised to pop an aspirin a day as part of their health regime, but they aren’t being told that side effects are common, and include stroke and stomach bleeding.

The true benefits and risks of taking aspirin as a just-in-case remedy have been analysed by researchers at Warwick Medical School, who say that patients aren’t being told the true facts about the drug’s dangers.

Although the drug seems to have a protective effect against heart disease—possibly saving 33 lives per 100,000 people—it causes an extra 117 cases of intestinal bleeding, and 10 cases of stroke, per 100,000.

There is “an incredibly fine balance between the possible benefits and risks” of aspirin, says lead researcher Aileen Clarke. She says that doctors shouldn’t be such zealous advocates of aspirin until more research into the drug’s risks is carried out. (Source: University of Warwick website).

 

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