aspirin does not prevent heart attack or stroke

Low dose aspirin is often recommended for the prevention of heart attack. But, is that routine advice good advice?

We have written a lot about the problem with painkillers: that they don’t do what they’re supposed to do but at great cost. Now a massive new study has strengthened the case against using low dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack.

The study was huge. It included 19,114 seniors with an average age of 74 who did not have cardiovascular disease, dementia or a physical disability. Half took 100mg a day of enteric coated aspirin, and half took a placebo. They were followed for 4.7 years when the study was stopped when it became clear that there was no benefit to taking aspirin.

The rate of people suffering death, dementia or physical disability was slightly, but not significantly, higher in the aspirin group (921 people versus 914), and the aspirin group had significantly higher rates of major hemorrhage (3.8% versus 2.8%). Fatal or nonfatal hemorrhagic stroke occurred in 49 people in the aspirin group and in 40 in the placebo group.

Following conventional medical advice to take low dose aspirin to prevent heart attack did not prevent the risk of heart attack or stroke in this group of seniors who did not suffer from cardiovascular disease. It did increase the risk of hemorrhaging and there was a nonsignificant increase in the rate of death. 

Taking low dose aspirin to prevent a heart attack provides no benefit, but does cause harm.

NEJM 2018;doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1800722

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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