Aspirin: the other white lie

In healthy elderly people who never had a heart attack, the widespread practice of taking a baby aspirin every day may do more harm than good, according to a U.S.-Australian study of more than 19,000 volunteers. The trial has “provided convincing evidence that aspirin is ineffective in preserving good health in elderly people without a medical (reason) to be using it,” chief author Dr. John J. McNeil of Monash University in Melbourne told Reuters Health in an email. The results – which show that risks of major bleeding in low-dose aspirin users overwhelm any heart benefits – were reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris. The findings may upend a common practice.

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