Risks of Aspirin Trump Benefits

Recent study shows the small benefits of low dose aspirin countered by the risk of long term aspirin carries.

According to the study published in Heart, long term aspirin may lower the risk of heart attack and cancer of colon plus rectum in women below the age of 65, however this benefit is countered by bleeding from the stomach and gut.

Aspirin is one of the most common drugs to be consumed across the world. The registered trademark is the property of Bayer which first synthesized the drug in 1897. The generic name of the drug is acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). It is estimated to be consumed in the amount of 40,000 tonnes per year.

Aspirin is commonly used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches, an antipyretic to relieve fever and an anti-inflammatory drug. It has long been a part of treatment in low doses (100mg) for prevention of cardiovascular disease/accidents and may be effective in preventing colorectal carcinomas.

Aspirin is an anti-platelet agent which basically prevents thromboxane, a substance which binds the platelets together over the damaged surface of blood vessels to prevent bleeds and is given to patients with increased risk of clot formation and to those after heart attacks. However, in the long run low dose aspirin to prevent cardiovascular events and colorectal cancer shows little superiority over the risks using long term aspirin carries; major bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.

In order to see the benefit of alternate day low dose aspirin the researcher conducted a trial on 27,939 healthy and 55 year old women at the commencement of the study. The patients were randomly assigned to take low dose aspirin and placebo and were followed up for 15 years. After fifteen years 11% of the women developed colorectal cancer, a heart attack or died of other cardiovascular causes.

Women on low dose aspirin experienced a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer but also an increase in the risk for major bleeding events from the gastrointestinal tract.

Based on the study the researchers concluded that the effect of alternate use of low dose aspirin is ineffective or harmful in primary prevention in majority of women.








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