Positives Outweigh Negatives in Daily Aspirin Use

December 15th 2016
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor

Regular use of aspirin can cause stomach bleeds but is outweighed by benefits.

The benefits of regular aspirin use outweigh the negatives of stomach bleeds, according to a study published inPublic Library of Science.

Through a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials, investigators found that regular use ofaspirinonly increases the risk of stomach bleeds by about one-half, and no evidence suggests that any of the bleeds are fatal.

“Although many people use aspirin daily to reduce the risk of health problems such as cancer and heart disease, the wider use of the drug is severely limited because of the side effect of bleeding from the stomach,” said investigator Peter Elwood. “With our study showing that there is no increased risk of death from stomach bleeding in people who take regular aspirin, we hope there will be better confidence in the drug and wider use of it by older people, leading to important reductions in deaths and disablement from heart disease and cancer across the community.”

Currently, the leading cause of death around the globe is heart disease and cancer. Research has shown that a small, daily dose of aspirin can reduce disease occurrence by approximately 20% to 30%.

Additionally, recent study results have shown that a low dosage of aspirin administered to cancer patients while undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy is an effective additional treatment. In fact, it reduced the number of deaths in patients with bowel cancer, and potentially other cancers, by an additional 15%.

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