Aspirin has been regarded as a pill to be avoided because of its supposed ill effects on the heart’s health. However, a new study has shown that the previous statements made on its potential harm were not thourough enough in analysis. After having evaluated information from many reports, the researchers of the new study have advised middle-aged people to take in aspirin because of its advantage of combatting cancer.
Aspirin has always been a controversial medicinal pill – while some say it should be taken daily because of its positive effects on certain diseases, others have come forth to warn people, specially the middle-aged ones, against its daily consumption because of its association with increase risk of heart diseases. Now, a new study, led by Dr Mangesh Thorat from the Queen Mary University, has evaluated the pros and cons to conclude that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks related to the use of aspirin. The researchers have assessed the data from 200 reports to draw out a review. They even went further saying that aspirin might even combat cancer much more than it can lead to strokes. But, what was the relevance of the argument against the daily consumption of aspirin, and how have the researchers concluded that the positive effects are greater in scope?
It is to be noted that the systematic evaluation of the potential hazards associated with aspirin was not done in the past. Nor were the harms categorised according to their severities. Since an unbiased thorough analysis was not done on this subject, the belief that the harms of aspirin are huge grew more and more. At the same time, the impact aspirin has on the evolution of cancer was not highlighted as much. If the use of aspirin were to be examined based only on its effects on the heart, the net benefits would be found to be minimal, leading to the formulation of recommendations against using aspirin, specially for those at risk. However, if the evaluation were to be done by taking into consideration all aspects of the medicine, the recommendation would change to the opposite of what was first meant. This is what this study has attempted to explain.
The researchers concluded that middle-aged people taking aspirin will have a substantial net benefit from its consumption, after having checked out on all the diseases aspirin has an effect on, namely cancer, heart disease, bleeding. The debate over the usefulness and harm of aspirin revolved around its harmful effects on the health of the heart. However, the researchers found that the increase in deaths because of stroke fueled by aspirin have not been recorded to be statistically significant. Moreover, the likelihood of dying from cancer is greater than that due to stroke – hence why the researchers have hinted at taking aspirin to combat cancer.
Middle-aged people are thus encouraged to take in aspirin daily by the researchers of the study. However, anyone reaching the middle-age age group should first consult his doctor to know whether or not it would be wise for him to take aspirin. The doctor would have to assess the risk factors for bleeding, like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking. The latter can be reduced and cured, for instance, one could give up smoking, and control blood pressure.
So, having taken all this information into consideration, the scientists advised middle-aged persons to take aspirin, given that their doctor have evaluated their case. As for older people, like those above 65, they should not yet consider the taking of aspirin as no evidence has yet shows its relevance.