The recent research by the group of scientists from Australia and the US published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that the previous findings about the positive effects of aspirin on the bodies of elderly patients may be not as positive as everyone thought. It turned out that patients taking this simple drug increased their chances of internal hemorrhages.
Scientists ran tests on 19,000 volunteers with an average age of 74. Half of them were taking a placebo, while another half was taking 100 milligrams of aspirin per day. After five years of studies, the scientists noted that there were almost 36% more cases of internal hemorrhages in the group that was taking aspirin on a daily basis. Moreover the group also had an increased number of cancer cases, although previous studies showed that aspirin has anti-tumor effect.
The key problem is that aspirin is often prescribed to the same elderly people as a drug preventing heart disease. Earlier studies showed that it reduces platelet aggregation, thus reducing the chance of vascular occlusions. Now, the most recent tests give doctors the hard choice of whether to prescribe heart-saving drug to their patients.