Every day aspirin that is taken by seniors with healthy hearts can actually be harmful to their health, according to a published study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study examined nearly 20,000 healthy adults in the U.S. and Australia with a median age of 74. They found that a daily baby aspirin had no effect on preventing dementia, disability or death. Most notable, contrary to medical opinions and advice, the daily aspirin did not prevent heart attacks or strokes.
On the other hand, researchers did find an increased risk of brain bleeding. Overall, the every day aspirin had a bad effect on seniors with healthy hearts.
Taking a daily aspirin only works in seniors who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke. In these cases, the risk of internal bleeding is lower. The aspirin actually helps. The bottom line conclusion is that healthy seniors over 70, should not be taking a daily aspirin.
Why is this so? Seniors are more at risk for the stomach and intestinal bleeding that can be caused by aspirin’s blood-thinning properties. That’s because the lining of their blood vessels, as well as the linings of their stomach and intestines, are more fragile and more susceptible to erosion.
Every Day Aspirin: Side Effects
Researchers also reported that the slight increase in deaths in the aspirin-treated group, compared to the placebo group, came from cancer. This was surprising since other studies have shown aspirin might help to protect against some cancers, such as colorectal cancer.
The study follows, and reinforces, another major look at aspirin’s benefits published in the Lancet. That study found that even for those with a moderate risk of cardiovascular disease, the risk of bleeding with aspirin did not outweigh its potential heart attack-preventing benefits.