As we age, we begin to have increased risk of a whole series of diseases and illnesses. Two of which are cancer and various heart diseases. So if there was one thing that could decrease that risk for you, would you do it?
A team of researchers from the University Medical Centre at Ultrecht in the Netherlands has found that aspirin plays a significant part in reducing the risk of these illnesses, if taken within the right boundaries.
Study leader, Dr. Frank Visseren said, “Recent finding that both daily and alternate-day aspirin can reduce cancer risk, particularly for colorectal cancer have reignited the debate on aspirin in primary prevention.” He also said that the study found that age is the main factor to determine the effectiveness. He said, “Treating only women aged more than 65 years yielded the highest benefit.”
Younger women (under the age of 45) who consume aspirin daily or every second day were put at increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and this severely outweighed the potential benefits. This is in opposed to women our age (over 65) who were at less risk of gastrointestinal bleeding who have increased preventative benefits.
The study followed over 30,000 healthy women, of different ages in groups taking differing doses of aspirin or a placebo. Compared with the placebo, regular aspirin was linked to a range of different benefits for women over 65 including heart disease, stroke, bowel cancer and for some women, other cancers. Although the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding was still present in older women, the overall benefits outweighed the risk of side effects.
According to the National Heart Foundation, the recommended daily dose to help to prevent a heart attack and stroke is 75-150 mg. Tablets of 100 mg of aspirin are commonly prescribed for this purpose (a standard aspirin tablet used for pain and fever relief contains 300 325 mg). Higher doses are no more effective in reducing risk of heart and stroke, but can increase the risk of side effects.
This study also found that the most effective dosage was for women over 65 to take 100mg of aspirin every other day.
Long-term aspirin use is something that should only be prescribed and advised by your doctor, but it is something that so many of us do.
So today, tell us, do you take aspirin? How often do you take it? Have you had troubles with side effects?