Risks of taking aspirin may outweigh benefits for women, study claims

4 December 2014        

Pills

The risks of taking low doses of aspirin may outweigh the benefits for women, according to a study.

Research, published in the journal Heart, studied almost 30,000 healthy women and found there were more risks than benefits when aspirin was used to stave off serious illness, such as heart disease and cancer.

Regular aspirin was linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancers.

The risk of gastro-intestinal bleeding rose with age, but so did the drug’s impact on lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and bowel cancer.

For women aged 65 and above the balance appeared to tip in favour of the drug.

Maureen Talbot, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “This study supports what we already know, which is that the risks of taking aspirin can outweigh the benefits in those who have no history of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“This is supported by current NICE guidelines. The study observed that the specific risk of gastro-intestinal bleeding increases with age but so does its benefits, especially in women over the age of 65 years.

“The decision to start taking aspirin should be made with a full understanding of the risks and benefits to an individual. If you have any concerns you should speak with your GP.”