Daily low-dose use of aspirin found to have no effect on healthy older people
WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM A large clinical trial showed that daily low-dose aspirin in healthy older adults without previous cardiovascular events did not prolong healthy, independent living.
The study, published on Sunday in three papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that in the total study population, treatment with 100 mg of low-dose aspirin per day did not affect survival rates, Xinhua reports.
The trial is an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled one that enrolled 19,114 older people in Australia and the United States. They are free of medical conditions requiring aspirin use and free of dementia and physical disability. They were followed for an average of 4.7 years to determine outcomes.
The group taking aspirin had an increased risk of death compared to the placebo group: 5.9 percent of participants taking aspirin and 5.2 percent taking placebo died during the study.
The higher death rate in the aspirin-treated group was due primarily to a higher rate of cancer deaths. A small increase in new cancer cases was reported in the group taking aspirin but the difference could have been due to chance.
"The increase in cancer deaths in study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given prior studies suggesting aspirin use improved cancer outcomes," said Leslie Ford, associate director for clinical research from the National Cancer Institute.
The researchers also analyzed the results to determine whether cardiovascular events took place. They found that the rates for major cardiovascular events including coronary heart disease, nonfatal heart attacks, and fatal and nonfatal ischemic stroke were similar in the aspirin and the placebo groups.
In the aspirin group, 448 people experienced cardiovascular events, compared with 474 people in the placebo group.
The new findings do not apply to people with a proven indication for aspirin such as stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular disease.
In addition, the study did not address aspirin's effects in people younger than age 65.