For Many Patients, Aspirin Does More Harm Than Good

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For Many Patients, Aspirin Does More Harm Than Good
For Many Patients, Aspirin Does More Harm Than Good
Video: For Many Patients, Aspirin Does More Harm Than Good
Video: Growing evidence aspirin can do more harm than good in people over 70 | ABC News 2023, February
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For many patients, aspirin does more harm than good

Anyone who regularly takes aspirin for prevention should be well aware of its side effects. The new study again emphasizes that while it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, the likelihood of severe internal bleeding is significantly increased.

For many patients, aspirin does more harm than good
For many patients, aspirin does more harm than good

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Anyone who regularly takes aspirin for prevention should be well aware of its side effects. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reiterates that while it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, the likelihood of severe internal bleeding is significantly increased.

The authors looked at the use of acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin in people without serious heart disease. They fully agreed that in such cases, the harm from the drug outweighs the potential benefit.

In scientific work, scientists analyzed data from previously conducted clinical studies, which included 164,000 participants. The prevailing opinion about the comparative safety of aspirin, scientists show, does not hold water.

"The study demonstrates that there is not enough evidence for the routine use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people without heart disease," said study co-author Sean Zheng of King's College London.

He added that there is uncertainty about how to treat patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Research has shown that while aspirin may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in these patients, this benefit comes with a greater risk of internal bleeding.

Even before this study, experts believed that people should only take low doses of aspirin as directed by their doctor.

“We found that aspirin actually reduced the incidence of cardiovascular accidents by 11%. To prevent one heart attack or stroke, 265 people needed to be treated. But it also increased the risk of serious bleeding by 48%, including gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial bleeding, requiring hospitalization or transfusion. One serious bleeding developed while treating 210 patients,”Zheng said.

On the New Atlas website, Kevin McConway of the Open University in England explained this data using a different approach. With daily low-dose aspirin use, 57 out of 10,000 people develop heart attacks and strokes, instead of 61 people without aspirin. At the same time, heavy bleeding develops in 23 instead of 16 in 10,000.

This seriously raises the question of whether people who have never had heart attacks or strokes should take aspirin to reduce their likelihood,”Zheng told Reuters.

In an editorial leading up to the study, Michael Gaziano of Brigham and Women's Hospital, who was not involved in the study, recalled that aspirin remains an essential cardiovascular prevention tool as long as it's used wisely.

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