Aspirin unlikely to help older people live longer – In the News

Aspirin has been found to have no benefit on life expectancy, according to a major Australian-led study on the drug.

Aspirin is widely used by healthy, older people as it’s thought to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke and prolong good health.

But in a trial which involved more than 19,000 healthy people in the US and Australia, five years of daily low-dose aspirin therapy did not extend disability-free life in healthy seniors and in fact led to a higher rate of major haemorrhage than placebo.

Led by John McNeil of Monash University in Melbourne, the randomised and placebo-controlled study was entitled the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial. It aimed to investigate whether the daily use of 100mg aspirin in healthy older adults would prolong healthy lifespan, free from dementia and persistent physical disability.

“The use of low-dose aspirin resulted in a significantly higher risk of major haemorrhage and did not result in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than placebo,” the researchers wrote.

The study also discovered an increase in deaths from cancer, although the researchers think this needs further investigation as it goes against current findings in the field, RNZ reported.

The results were released Sunday in three articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The study was covered by local and international media including: 

RNZ: ‘Aspirin-a-day risky in old age’ – major study
ABC: Daily aspirin doesn’t prevent cardiovascular disease, landmark Australian study finds
The Guardian: Daily aspirin unlikely to help healthy older people live longer, study finds
The Washington Post: Low-dose aspirin offers no overall benefit for healthy older people, research says
BBC: ‘Aspirin-a-day risky in old age’ – major study