Author Topic: Beware, Aspirin Drug Linked to Higher Risk of Serious Bleeding in the Elderly  (Read 159 times)

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People who are aged 75 or older and take aspirin daily to ward off heart attacks face a significantly elevated risk of serious or even fatal bleeding and should be given heartburn drugs to minimize the danger, a 10-year study has found.

Between 40 percent and 60 percent of people over the age of 75 in Europe and the United States take aspirin every day, previous studies have estimated, but the implications of long-term use in older people have remained unclear until now because most clinical trials involve patients younger than 75.

The study published on Wednesday, however, was split equally between over-75s and younger patients, examining a total of 3,166 Britons who had suffered a heart attack or stroke and were taking blood-thinning medication to prevent a recurrence.

Researchers emphasized that the findings did not mean that older patients should stop taking aspirin. Instead, they recommend broad use of proton pump inhibitor heartburn drugs such as omeprazole, which can cut the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding by 70 to 90 percent.

While aspirin invented by Bayer in 1897 and now widely available over the counter is generally viewed as harmless, bleeding has long been a recognized hazard.



 

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