Prolonged Aspirin use can do more harm than good

A new study recommends that healthy people should not automatically turn to aspirin in order to prevent cancer or heart attacks after a careful review was conducted of the benefits and risks associated with prolonged aspirin use. Over the last year a debate has been waging in the medical profession about whether or not people that are over the age of fifty should take a low dose of aspirin on a regular basis.

The review of available information was conducted by the NHS research arm and found that there is a very fine balance that needs to be drawn in order to prevent health risks without contributing to health risks. For instance, aspirin is known to cause bleeding in the stomach and the brain. The review team found that for the time being until evidence is presented that indicates otherwise patients should not take the drug.

Aspirin is commonly used to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack because it makes the blood less sticky making it less likely that a blood clot is going to form. Some new studies are also suggesting that regular aspirin intake might reduce the risk of developing some cancers. However, given there are some downsides to the function of aspirin as well.

For instance, as the drug reduces the body’s natural clotting mechanism it also can cause other problems such as bleeding internally. The medical benefit is therefore only clearly defined if a person is deemed to have a high risk of stroke or heart attack in which case the risk is considered acceptable.

The research team found that there is too much risk to advising the general population to take aspirin and that the protocol for daily aspirin regimes should be kept to stroke and heart attack patients only.