They advise against healthy older people taking aspirin to prevent a stroke

The potential benefits that take low-dose aspirin daily with the objective of prevent stroke in older adults they do not compensate against the risk of brain hemorrhage in these individuals, especially if they are exposed to head injuries from falls and other blows to the head, as bleeding is a known side effect of aspirin.

An investigation led by the Monash University which sought to determine the risk/benefit of aspirin use as a primary prevention measure in the elderly has reached this conclusion after analyzing the data contained in ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), a primary prevention aspirin trial in in which 19,114 initially healthy older adults participated, almost all of them from over 70 yearsmost of whom resided in Australia, and the rest in the United States.

Primary prevention consists of taking steps to maintain good health and prevent disease, while secondary prevention interventions are instituted after a health problem has occurred to prevent a recurrence. In the study, participants with no known cardiovascular disease at baseline were randomly assigned to receive either 100 mg of aspirin daily or a placebo tablet for an average of five years.

The secondary analysis study found no statistically significant difference in the incidence of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, which is caused by a blockage in the vessels that supply blood to the brain, between the aspirin group and the group taking placebo.

38% more bleeding episodes in those who took aspirin

The results have been published in JAMA Network Open and show that strokes occurred in 4.6% of the aspirin group and 4.7% of the placebo group. Although the number of brain bleeds was small, the bleeding events they were 38% higher in those taking aspirin compared with placebo.

The researchers’ conclusion has been that the risk of cerebral hemorrhage outweighs any potential benefit in reducing stroke. This included hemorrhages in the brain and hemorrhages on the surface of the brain They are usually associated with head trauma.

“Caution should be exercised with the use of aspirin in older people prone to head injury, for example, from falls”

“These findings suggest that low-dose aspirin may have no role in the primary prevention of stroke and that caution should be exercised with the use of aspirin in older people prone to head injury, for example, from falls.” written the researchers.

“These findings do not apply to older adults taking aspirin on medical advice, such as after heart attack and ischemic stroke. In secondary prevention, the balance of risks and benefits generally favors aspirin. It is important to consult with your GP before making any change in medication intake”, explained the profesor John McNeillead author of the study.

of similar opinion is Dr. Alejandro Macías, “Many adults use aspirin to prevent heart attacks or strokes. It should only be used by those who have already suffered from it, to prevent a second attack. The rest must stop it because it does not provide benefits and does increase the risks of serious brain hemorrhage.

The teacher Geoffrey Cloud, first author and director of Stroke Services at Alfred Health, has stated that leading a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the risk of stroke. “Older people concerned about reducing their risk of their first stroke should not take aspirin every day without their doctor’s advice, but instead focus on lifestyle risk factor modification and blood pressure control.” , he concludes.


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