I know many people who take a daily aspirin in an effort to stay healthy. I even know many doctors who recommend it. But you may be surprised to know about what the actual medical science says about aspirin.
Back in 2016, I wrote a post that proved to be one of the most-popular that whole year. In that post I described the guidelines for who, and who should not, be taking a daily aspirin. Fortunately, that post is still largely accurate and these guidelines have not changed in the past two years. You can read that 2016 post here.
But there is now a massive new study about a group of people for which there was no medical science one way or the other. The new study, called ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) was just published in September 2018 and it specifically looked at healthy people over age 70.
The one thing you need to know
There is no data to support healthy people 70 and older for taking a daily aspirin, and in fact, it likely has more risks than any potential benefit.
I will expand a bit on this new data in this post.
A few months ago I launched the first in what I hope will become a recurring series: Pearls from Medical Science. As many of you know, I strive to provide high-quality, scientifically accurate medical information on Healthy Matters, both the radio show and this blog. As do most doctors, I get inundated with medical journals, which are the repository of what the medical science community has learned about our various medical conditions. Since nobody can read all this (or want to), every now and then I will present one thing I’ve learned from what doctors call (with apologies to Hemingway and Fitzgerald), the “literature.”
One goal of mine for this blog is to connect people to medical science. But ask any doctor – staying current on the latest in medical evidence is not easy. Look at this picture – it could be the nightstand of many a doctor. It is actually the table in my office after I simply grabbed a few recent journals from my shelf. Seriously. Glamorous it may not be, but it is oh, so important. By staying abreast of latest medical science, we can give you the best advice possible.
So every now and then I’m going to do a post highlighting a “Pearl from Medical Science” in which I will summarize one item from the medical literature – a pearl, if you will. Basically reading this stuff so you don’t have to. I’ll try to distill the medical jargon and heady science into something meaningful – something you can act on in your own life.