Study calls daily aspirin use into question

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In Australia, in a large clinical trial to determine the risks and benefits of daily low-dose aspirin in healthy older adults without previous cardiovascular events, aspirin did not prolong healthy, independent living defined as a life free of dementia or persistent physical disability.

“Clinical guidelines note the benefits of aspirin for preventing heart attacks and strokes in persons with vascular conditions such as coronary artery disease,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “The concern has been uncertainty about whether aspirin is beneficial for otherwise healthy older people without those conditions. This study shows why it is so important to conduct this type of research, so that we can gain a fuller picture of aspirin’s benefits and risks among healthy older persons.”

ASPREE is an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled 19,114 U.S. and Australian participants aged 70 and older that could not have dementia or a physical disability.