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Low-dose aspirin has no effect, causes harm in some older people, study finds

If you are a healthy older person and take a low-dose aspirin every day, it may be more harmful than you think.

A large clinical trial involving participants in Australia and the United States found a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people. It also showed a higher rate of suffering from a major hemorrhage.

Results from the trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Over a four-year span starting in 2010, the trial enrolled more than 19,000 people in Australia and the U.S. who were 70 and older, or 65 for African-American and Hispanic participants because their risks of dementia or cardiovascular disease are higher. Also, the participants did not have cardiovascular disease, dementia or a physical disability.

Roughly half of participants were given 100 mg of low-dose aspirin, while the rest were given a placebo.

The results showed the aspirin had no impact on whether people would suffer from dementia or a disability. The trial found 90.3 percent of the people who took aspirin remained alive with no persistent physical disability or dementia, compared with 90.5 percent of people on the placebo. Rates of people who suffered from disability and dementia were nearly the same.

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