A LONG-standing theory that taking a low-dose aspirin every day will cut the chances of a heart attack, stroke or other heart problems has been debunked by a new major research study.
Over the weekend, the European Society of Cardiology 2018 presented two studies that challenged the century-long, widely-accepted doctor recommendation for aspirin use in adults.
The studies included adult participants who took aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke and who had no history of these medical emergencies.
One found that aspirin did not help prevent a first stroke or heart attack in folks with a moderate risk for one due to health and lifestyle variables like smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Another study explored the use of aspirin on diabetics, who are statistically more likely to die from heart problems.
Researchers randomly assigned 15,480 adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes — who don’t have any other outstanding health issues and no history of heart issues — either one aspirin pill, 1 gram of fish oil, both these pills, or a placebo pill every day for the next few years.
After just under eight years, researchers found that while there were fewer heart problems among the aspirin users, there were more cases of serious bleeding.
“There’s been a lot of uncertainty among doctors around the world about prescribing aspirin” for a vast majority of patients who haven’t had serious heart problems in the past, said Dr. Jane Armitage of the
University of Oxford in England, one of the study’s lead researchers.
“If you’re healthy, it’s probably not worth taking it.”
The research study tested 100 milligram aspirin tablets, which is more than the commonly-sold 81-milligram tablets in the U.S., but is still considered a low dosage.