Should we all be taking aspirin?

I’m not taking aspirin to prevent heart disease, bowel cancer or dementia but should I be?  Turns out it’s a numbers game.  For every 10,000 individuals who received between 100-300mg aspirin daily 57 had a reduced risk of dying or having a heart attack or stroke vs 61 who didn’t take aspirin, a decidedly unimpressive statistic, but 23 of those 10,000 had an increased risk of major bleeding events vs 16 who didn’t.  So, more chance of bleeding but less likelihood of succumbing to heart disease or stroke.

Studies on preventing dementia reveal that taking aspirin is of no benefit.

With regard to bowel cancer Australian guidelines recommend all adults aged 50-70 years old consider taking low-dose aspirin (100-300 mg per day) for at least 2.5 years to reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer.   Here the advantages of preventing disease override the risk of bleeding.  However, rather than having a significant bleed I’ve decided to opt for the strategies outlined in the Wellness Guide to Preventing the Diseases of Ageing to avert the above age-related diseases.

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