Healthy Beginnings

An Aspirin a Day Extends Life

A daily dose of a “baby” (81mg) aspirin has long been recommended by cardiologists to help prevent life-threatening blood clots that can contribute to heart attacks or strokes.

According to a new study at the University of Southern California, the daily regimen by older patients shows multiple health benefits and a reduction in health care spending.

The long-term benefits of low-dose aspirin had been questioned by the FDA, who was concerned that, in some people, it could increase the risk of stroke and bleeding (both gastrointestinal and in the brain).

This study, at the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute of Transformative Medicine at USC, proved otherwise. Lead author David Agus, founding director at the institute, and a professor of medicine and engineering found that the “study shows multiple health benefits and a reduction in health care spending from this simple, low cost measure that should be considered a standard part of care for the appropriate patient.”

To assess the long-term benefits of aspirin, the researchers ran two scenarios, which project the health of older Americans and their trajectory in aging. The study relied on national data sets by a number of governmental agencies. The models account for individual health characteristics such as chronic disease, the ability to conduct daily activities, body mass index and mortality.

“Although the health benefits of aspirin are well established, few people take it,” said lead author David Agus.

One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who used aspirin after being diagnosed with colon cancer had a 29 percent lower risk of dying from cancer than aspirin nonusers. In addition, those who used aspirin for the first time after a diagnosis of colon cancer reduced their risk of colorectal cancer death by 47 percent.

A study from the University of Oxford found that daily aspirin reduced the risk of developing cancer of any kind by about 25 percent when compared to control groups that didn’t take aspirin. After 5 years, the risk of dying in the group taking aspirin was reduced by 37 percent.

Chinese researchers found that women who took aspirin lowered their risk of developing lung cancer by 50 percent if they’d never smoked, and a whopping 62 percent if they smoked!

So, what are you waiting for? A low-dose aspirin (81mg) or a coated full-dose aspirin (325mg) per day can help prevent a broad range of problems and help you live longer.

For more information, contact Reno Integrative Medical Center, 6110 Plumas St., Ste. B, Reno, at 775-829-1009 or www.RenoIntegrative.com.

References

  1. University of Southern California Health News, December 2, 2016
  2. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Updated Guidelines, 2016