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Aspirin beneficial in middle-age

26th August 2008

Research by Nottingham and Sheffield universities has found that middle-aged men and women should have an aspirin every day in order to ward off heart attacks.

PillPacket1The study, published in Heart journal, looked at nearly 12,000 male and female patients. The researchers found that male subjects aged over 48 and female subjects aged over 57 would be helped by taking aspirin.

Aspirin makes the formation of blood clots more difficult.

Current guidance means GP prescribe aspirin if patients have already had a heart attack, stroke or are at "high" risk of having an "event" in the future.

The study examined patients aged from 30 and 75. They found that once the subjects reached the ages of 47 in men and 58 in women, the "10-year coronary heart disease risk" was 10%.

This, according to the researchers, meant that taking aspirin would be more beneficial than not taking it - unless a person had a condition that meant taking the drug was dangerous, such as stomach problems.

They added that people aged over 75 years could have "bleeding complications" and should be assesed individually.

Study leader Dr Iskandar Idris, an honorary senior lecturer at Sheffield University, said: "The final decision about use of aspirin must eventually be made after discussion with a healthcare provider."

Dr Mike Knapton, director of prevention and care at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Further robust research is needed before aspirin should be considered as a blanket primary prevention measure in the UK."


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