Popping an aspirin pill every day does not help older people live longer and may even have the opposite effect, a new study reveals.
The researchers found that a daily dose of the so-called "miracle pill" did not prolong the healthy life free of dementia.
The clinical trial followed thousands of healthy older people, who had not previously suffered a stroke or heart attack, who took a low daily dose of aspirin.
Those who took aspirin also had a "significantly" increased risk of bleeding, mainly in the gastrointestinal tract and brain, it was revealed.
Taking an aspirin a day does not lead to a longer life, a new study revealed
The study, which involved 19,114 older people – 16,770 in Australia and 2,411 in the United States – began in 2010 and involved participants age 70 and older.
The participants were followed for approximately 4.7 years and they also could not have dementia or a physical disability and should be free of medical problems.
Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in the USA He said: "Clinical guidelines point to the benefits of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with vascular diseases such as coronary artery disease.
"The concern has been the uncertainty about whether aspirin is beneficial for healthy older people without those conditions.
"This study shows why it is so important to conduct this type of research, so that we can get a more complete picture of the benefits and risks of aspirin among healthy older people."
The clinical trial followed thousands of healthy older people, who had not previously had a stroke or heart attack, who took a low daily dose of aspirin.
Among people randomly assigned to take aspirin, 90.3 percent remained alive at the end of treatment without persistent physical disability or dementia, compared to 90.5 percent of those who took a placebo.
The group that took aspirin had a higher risk of death compared to the placebo group: 5.9 percent of the participants who took aspirin and 5.2 percent who took placebo died during the study.
The researchers said that it had not been observed in previous studies and that it is necessary to be careful when interpreting the finding.
A small increase in new cancer cases was reported in the group taking aspirin, but the research team said the difference could have been due to chance.
Significant bleeding was also measured, a known risk of regular aspirin use.
The researchers observed that aspirin was associated with a significantly increased risk of bleeding, mainly in the gastrointestinal tract and brain.
The clinically significant hemorrhage (hemorrhagic stroke, haemorrhage in the brain, gastrointestinal hemorrhages or other hemorrhages requiring transfusion or hospitalization) occurred in 3.8% with aspirin and 2.7% with placebo.
As expected in older people, cancer was a common cause of death and 50% of those who died in the trial had some type of cancer.
Heart disease and stroke accounted for 19% of deaths and severe bleeding in 5%.
Dr. Leslie Ford, associate director of clinical research at the National Cancer Institute in the US UU., He said: "The increase in cancer deaths among study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given previous studies suggesting that the use of aspirin improved cancer outcomes.
"The analysis of all cancer-related data from the trial is ongoing and until we have additional data, these findings should be interpreted with caution."
Dr. Evan Hadley, of the NIA, added: "Continuous monitoring of ASPREE participants is crucial, particularly because the long-term effects on risks for outcomes such as cancer and dementia may differ from those of the study to date. .
"These initial findings will help clarify the role of aspirin in preventing diseases for older adults, but much more needs to be learned.