Aspirin risks outweigh benefits, the review of past studies suggests

December 21, 2013  19:07

Healthy adults who take daily aspirin to prevent heart disease may have more harm from it than benefit, Fox News reports.

"Too many healthy people think that aspirin will prevent heart attacks and cancer," said Dr. Peter Sandercock of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Sandercock has extensive research experience in this subject, but was not involved in the current study.

"This shows that if you are healthy, with no symptoms of cardiovascular disease, then it's not sensible to take regular aspirin. It won't improve your health," he told Reuters Health.

People who have had strokes or heart attacks have a hardening of their arteries, which leads to the formation of blood clots. Various cardiovascular diseases contribute to the formation of these clots and daily aspirin is widely known to break down those clots and prevent further problems.

In their review, Paul Sutcliffe of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick in England and his colleagues linked regular aspirin intake to the avoidance of 33 to 46 deaths from any cause in 10,000 people over a 10-year period. However, 46 to 49 major bleeds and 68 to 117 gastrointestinal bleeds in 10,000 people in a 10-year period also occurred as a result.

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