Taking aspirin daily can increase the risk of cancer in seniors
The authors of a recent study found that healthy older adults who took aspirin daily at low doses were at higher risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancers. Accordingly, it was more likely to cause death from cancer than those who took a placebo. The results suggest that daily intake of aspirin can make cancers worse. However, this is especially true if they develop in the age group mentioned.
Can aspirin endanger health every day?
In recent years, there have been high hopes that taking a low dose of aspirin every day could help protect the elderly from dementia, cognitive decline, and cancer. In addition, doctors prescribe aspirin daily to people who are at high risk for cardiovascular problems. Some clinical studies, mostly involving middle-aged adults, have even shown that this drug can reduce the risk of developing cancer, especially colon cancer. However, until recently, there was a lack of evidence of the drug’s use as a preventive treatment in otherwise healthy elderly people. The most recent study, which looked at a cohort of elderly people, reports that daily aspirin increases the risk of cancer. It involves diagnosing advanced cancers and cancer that has spread or metastasized. The results showed associations between drug use and increased cancer mortality during the follow-up period.
Most of the participants were over 70 years old and some were over 65 years old. The research team randomly assigned participants to take either 100 milligrams of aspirin per day or a placebo. An earlier analysis of the results in both groups after a mean follow-up of 4.7 years showed a higher number of all-cause deaths in the aspirin group. Most of the deaths were from cancer. The latest study looked more closely at the effect of aspirin on cancer diagnoses and deaths from cancer. A total of 981 participants who took aspirin daily and 952 participants who took placebo developed cancer. This difference between the two groups was not statistically significant. However, daily aspirin was associated with a 19% higher risk of metastatic cancer and a 22% higher risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancer compared to placebo.
The results also showed that people in the aspirin group had a higher risk of death during follow-up care from advanced cancer. In their work, the researchers also point out that the increased risk of death associated with taking aspirin in their study equates to an additional 1.5 deaths per 1,000 person-years. This is relatively low compared to the risk of mortality from other reasons. Aspirin reduces inflammation in the body. The researchers write that a possible explanation for their finding could be that aspirin suppresses immune responses. Accordingly, these are critical in controlling the growth and spread of cancer in later stages of its development. They find that other research also shows differences between the biology and behavior of tumors in seniors. These reports make it plausible that aspirin may also act differently on a cellular or molecular level in older people.
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