15 June 2017

Is aspirin good for you?

Aspirin has caused hundreds of hospitalizations

Anna Stavina, XX2 century, according to HuffPost: Daily Aspirin Linked To More Than 3,000 Deaths Per Year, Scientists Warn

Low-dose aspirin is often prescribed to elderly patients who have suffered heart attacks or strokes. However, as a new study has shown, the side effects of taking aspirin in severity can be comparable to the cardiovascular diseases themselves.

Taking low-dose aspirin daily to prevent blood clots can be harmful and even deadly for some patients. We are talking about people aged 75 and older who already have a history of heart attacks and strokes. The risk of internal bleeding caused by taking a blood-thinning drug in this group is much higher than previously thought. This conclusion was reached by the authors of a new study published in the Lancet journal (Li et al., Age-specific risks, severity, time course, and outcome of bleeding on long-term antiplatelet treatment after vascular events: a population-based cohort study).

Thus, the share of participants under 65 years of age hospitalized for internal bleeding was 1.5% per year. In the age group from 75 to 84, the same indicator was already 3.5%, and among those who have already turned 85, 5%. Based on these data, the authors of the study recommended that doctors prescribing aspirin to elderly patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke also prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the risk of bleeding.

Professor Peter Rothwell from the University of Oxford explains: "We already knew that aspirin increases the risk of bleeding in patients of older age groups. But our new work provides more accurate insights into the extent of risk changes and the severity of aspirin-induced bleeding. The study also raises the question of the risk-benefit ratio of long-term aspirin intake in patients aged 75 years and older in situations where PPIs are not prescribed."

For the Oxford Vascular Study, 3166 patients who had suffered a heart attack or stroke and are currently taking drugs that prevent platelet "gluing" were selected. Most often, aspirin was prescribed to patients for this purpose. Half of the volunteers were aged 75 or over at the start of the study. The follow-up period was 10 years; during this time 314 patients were hospitalized for internal bleeding.

The researchers noted that older patients suffered bleeding worse than younger patients. So, for people over the age of 75, extensive gastroduodenal bleeding that developed as a result of taking aspirin was "at least" as serious as a repeated stroke.

At the same time, the appointment of PPIs was able to reduce the incidence of bleeding in patients receiving anticoagulant or aspirin therapy by 70-90%, according to the study. Professor Rothwell tells: "Although there is evidence that long-term use of PPIs is associated with certain small risks, this study demonstrated that the risk of bleeding in the absence of PPIs in elderly patients is high, and the consequences are significant."

"In other words," the professor explains, "the results of the work show that the benefits of using PPIs outweigh the possible risks."

As part of the work, scientists, however, could not demonstrate that the observed increase in the risk of bleeding is associated exclusively with aspirin. However, previous studies have shown that at least half of the bleeding that occurs while taking this drug is also associated with it. The vast majority of the study participants took low doses of aspirin (75 mg). Only some patients received another drug that prevents the occurrence of blood clots, clopidogrel. Whether the results of the work are applicable to other anticoagulants is unknown.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  15.06.2017

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