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Aspirin Use Poses Possible Risks in Seniors

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Many people believe that taking a daily low-dose aspirin is a healthy habit. But research shows that may not be true for older adults who don’t already have heart disease. What’s more, aspirin increases the risk for dangerous bleeding in the brain and elsewhere. In a group of studies, 19,114 people ages 65 and older without heart disease (some of whom had diabetes) were randomly assigned to a daily 100-milligram aspirin or placebo. After nearly five years, there were no differences between the two groups in rates of heart disease, death from any cause, or time spent without disability. But with aspirin, there was a 38 percent increased risk of serious bleeding. That said, the American Diabetes Association recommends daily aspirin for people with diabetes who have a history of cardiovascular disease and suggests that it be considered for people with diabetes who have heart disease risk factors.
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, published online Sept. 16, 2018