Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Should everyone over 50 be taking aspirin?

17.06.2005


For and against: Aspirin for everyone over 50? BMJ Volume 330, pp 1440-3



Experts go head to head in this week’s BMJ over whether everyone over 50 should take a daily aspirin to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. Peter Elwood and colleagues at Cardiff University believe that the evidence now supports more widespread use of aspirin, and there needs to be a strategy to inform the public and enable older people to make their own decision.

As a general rule, daily aspirin is given only to people whose five year risk of a vascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, is 3% or more. The authors show that, by age 50, 80% of men and 50% of women reach this level of risk and they suggest that 90-95% of the population could take low dose aspirin without problems. Evidence is also growing that regular aspirin may reduce cancer and dementia.


"The possibility that a simple, daily, inexpensive low dose pill would achieve a reduction in vascular events, and might achieve reductions in cancer and dementia without the need for screening, deserves serious consideration," they write. "Although we judge that aspirin should be taken from around 50 years, we insist that the general public should be well informed and the final decision should lie with each person."

But Colin Baigent of the Oxford Radcliffe Infirmary warns that it would be unwise to adopt such a policy, whatever age threshold is chosen, until we are sure that older patients will derive net benefit from it.

Based on data for 55-59 year olds, aspirin prevents around two first heart attacks per 1000 population each year. However, this benefit does not outweigh the expected risk of a major gastrointestinal bleed at age 60 (1-2 per 1000 per year).

"In my view, we should not contemplate an age threshold approach to primary prevention with aspirin until we have much better evidence of its benefits in older people," he says. We therefore need further randomised trials comparing low dose aspirin with placebo.

"A recommendation that aspirin be used for primary prevention of vascular disease in unselected people over a certain age could result in net harm, and we must have very good evidence to the contrary before instituting such a policy," he concludes.

Emma Dickinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bmj.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Vanishing capillaries
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>