New Studies Say Aspirin Is More Risky Than Beneficial

Recent studies suggest that the risks of taking an aspirin a day may outweigh the benefits. (Image:  Ragesoss
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Recent studies suggest that the risks of taking an aspirin a day may outweigh the benefits. (Image: Ragesoss via wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

Many people have a habit of taking aspirin on a daily basis out of a belief that it is good for the body. However, recent studies suggest that instead of benefiting the body, aspirin can actually end up causing some serious damage.

The three studies

The revelation about the ill-effects of aspirin on the body came to light after a series of studies were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The first study was conducted by researchers at Monash University in Australia. Almost 20,000 people from Australia and the U.S., with a median age of 75 years, participated in the study. The subjects underwent a health evaluation to make sure that they were not afflicted with any medical condition like dementia, heart disease, and so on.

The researchers divided the participants into two groups. The first group was administered 100 mg of aspirin per day, while the second group only received a placebo. The study continued for a period of five years, at the end of which the team found the group that had been administered the 100 mg aspirin reported a higher rate of bleeding.

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The studies reported a higher rate of bleeding and mortality in those who took aspirin daily. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A second study on the effects of aspirin concluded: “The use of low-dose aspirin as a primary prevention strategy in older adults resulted in a significantly higher risk of major hemorrhage and did not result in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than [a] placebo.”

A third study was conducted during the period 2010 to 2014 in which more than 19,000 people participated. The results again came out negative on aspirin intake. The group that took aspirin had a mortality rate of 12.7 per 1,000 persons, higher than the other group’s mortality rate of 11.1 per 1,000 persons. 

“Higher all-cause mortality was observed among apparently healthy older adults who received daily aspirin than among those who received [a] placebo and was attributed primarily to cancer-related death,” the study concludes.

The risks and drug interactions of aspirin

Regular users of aspirin can be at risk of several medical complications. For one, they could end up suffering a stroke as a result of a burst blood vessel. Though aspirin might help you avoid stroke that occurs as a result of a blood clot, it will definitely increase the chances of a bleeding stroke, which is also known as hemorrhagic stroke.

People may be allergic to aspirin. Taking the medication under such circumstances can lead to very serious issues. Those who take aspirin every day are also at risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Stomach ulcers are likely to develop. Stomach bleeding will be more pronounced in people who drink alcohol while taking aspirin.

If you take an anticoagulant like apixaban, rivaroxaban, or warfarin, chances of major bleeding issues will be higher if you consume aspirin at the same time. Other medications which are known to interact with aspirin include corticosteroids, ibuprofen, heparin, and a few antidepressants. Using supplements like ginkgo, capsaicin, and Omega-3 fatty acids together with aspirin will also increase the risk of bleeding.

Aspirin is known to have interactions with a number of prescription and non-prescription drugs as well as herbal supplements. (Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Aspirin is known to have interactions with a number of prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as herbal supplements. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Taking into account such risks and the results of the three studies, it should be clear that consuming aspirin on a daily basis is a practice that is best avoided. However, if your doctor has recommended such a habit, remember to consult them before stopping.

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