Many older people take an aspirin daily as a general preventative measure to help guard against a number of age-related medical conditions.
However, a new study suggests that people in good health and with no history of heart problems or stroke should not take a daily aspirin, as it has no benefit and could actually increase the risk of potentially fatal internal bleeding in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.
Researchers in Australia and the U.S. gathered around 19,000 to conduct this survey and gave half of them a daily aspirin of 100mg to take and the other half were given a placebo pill. The candidates that were recruited had to be free of dementia and any physical disability.
The study shows that 3.8% of those taking the daily aspirin had an increase of internal bleeding which led them to be hospitalized. “There’s definitely an increased bleeding risk,” says Dr. Vincent Bufalino, a cardiologist for the American Heart Association.
Lead researcher John McNeil, the head of epidemiology and preventive health at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia states that “if seniors don't have a valid medical need for taking aspirin, you are unlikely to benefit from it and there are some risks.”
The findings only apply to healthy seniors who are self-medicating with aspirin and not to those taking it on previous medical advice following a previous heart attack, stroke or any other medical condition. Please advise your doctor if you need further reassurance or advice.