For as long as I can remember, a daily low dose of aspirin has been recommended to prevent heart attacks and stroke by making the blood less sticky. However, a recent BBC article discussed three studies that suggest it might not be such a good idea for elderly people. Apparently the potential risks outweigh the benefits, and may actually cause serious harm.
In the main study, researchers at Australia’s Monash University conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial with 20,000 healthy people with a median age of 74. Half of the group received 100mg of aspirin each day, while the other took a placebo. Five years later, they observed no difference in health between the two groups, but they did document a higher rate of bleeding in the aspirin group.
The other two studies had similar results. The takeaway point is that taking aspirin every day might be good idea for people with a history of heart attack or stroke. Otherwise it’s a waste of money that increases your risk of internal bleeding and an early death. Neither of which are on my personal bucket list.