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Have other people heard about the health benefits of daily aspirin for the middle aged?

(27 Posts)
bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 19-Jan-17 13:36:26

I'm just wondering if this has come up on the radar for others in their 50s and what do you think?

I've read various articles in the general press in the past couple of years and am wondering whether to start taking aspirin myself.

quite an informative Telegraph article here

My father had cancer at age 49, recovered, and later died of a different cancer aged 81.

My maternal grandmother, who lived to nearly 95, always had a packet of aspirin on her kitchen shelf. It seemed to be her remedy for everything!

I suppose all the sensible posters are going to say check with your GP first but I really don't want to be a time waster! I wouldn't check with my GP if I was going to take a vitamin or mineral supplement - is it really necessary for aspirin?

Floggingmolly Thu 19-Jan-17 14:37:26

They can cause stomach bleeding. You'd be very unwise to take them without medical advice; you'll waste as much of your GP's time being treated for side effects afterwards

Delatron Thu 19-Jan-17 17:08:14

Yes, I've had cancer so took great interest in the research. Asked my oncologist and he told me not to take a daily aspirin due to the increase in risk of stomach bleeds. It is frustrating though that something that has had such a proven effect on reducing cancer risk can't be taken regularly.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 19-Jan-17 17:10:32

My dad takes daily asprin as advised by the doctor. I can't take the at all as they irritate my stomach and make me sick.

Delatron Thu 19-Jan-17 17:15:04

I wonder how doctors work out who will benefit and who won't? I've heard it is prescribed in the US quite frequently post cancer. I'd quite like to do everything I can to not get cancer again!

Gingernaut Thu 19-Jan-17 17:25:35

Yes. Aspirin has been given life extending powers by a collection of pharmaceutical firms trying to repatent it for a number of ailments and then they can make some money out of it.

It can cause internal bleeding, asthmatics have to avoid it as it can cause anaphylaxis in those who are sensitive to NSAIDs and there are a number of serious drug interactions when taking a whole raft of other medications, prescribed or otherwise.

Under no circumstances start taking something on a regular basis without first seeking medical advice.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 19-Jan-17 19:11:44

But how could the big pharma companies make money out of it? It is so cheap everyone just buys it at the supermarket.

I'm aware of the risks to asthmatics and am not on any other medication. I'm tempted - one of the cancers it is supposed to help prevent is stomach! Presumsbly you would be aware it was irritating your stomach before it became serious?

Floralnomad Thu 19-Jan-17 19:16:10

Lots of people are on aspirin to reduce the risk of heart problems / strokes , I would say the majority of over 60s that go into hospital take aspirin unless they have a condition that contra indicates it . You can get enteric coated ones that don't cause as many problems or soluble .

Crumbs1 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:46:51

I take 75g daily aspirin because it decreases risk of breast cancer recurrence and protects against heart attacks. You can get gastro resistant tablets in any supermarket so stomach irritation is less likely.

lokisglowstickofdestiny1 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:50:59

I would seek medical advice. I can't tolerate NSAID's, GP gave me an drug which was supposed to coat my stomach to prevent the NSAID causing a reaction. Took according to instructions and very nearly had a car crash due to the sudden extreme stabbing pain in my stomach. Won't touch them now.

SortAllTheThings Thu 19-Jan-17 20:00:05

"But how could the big pharma companies make money out of it? It is so cheap everyone just buys it at the supermarket."

They won't make money from it.

I hadn't come across this one, I'm aware of the ISIS trials into aspirin and MI, and that it was beneficial in lots of other ways (I believe there's something to do with pregnancy and that it can help prevent miscarriages in certain cases, but will have to look up the details on that one).

PollyPerky Thu 19-Jan-17 22:12:20

OP That feature you linked to is now over 2 years old. I can't be certain but thought the advice had been changed by newer research. There have always been pros and cons for this and research showing different results.

I think if anyone wants to try this they need to look at ALL the research not just that in a newspaper which is a very superficial summary , written by a non expert.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 19-Jan-17 22:31:56

What are gastro resistant tablets?

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 19-Jan-17 22:34:58

Can you unearth the newer research for me Polly?

That just happened to come up after a quick google. I'm sure I've read the same story far more recently.

Crumbs1 Thu 19-Jan-17 22:39:44

The research was done at Harvard and was around health of nurses. The cancer reduction benefits of aspirin were an incidental finding but very credible, given the size of the cohort. There is no gold standard research on the benefits as that would not be to pharmaceutical companies advantage and they do drug research.
I take it because I asked my oncologist whether he would recommend it to his wife having read the actual research paper. We decided between us the benefits outweighed the risks.
If you have Hugh's Syndrome related miscarriages, aspirin is the drug of choice. Not appropriate for other causes of abortion though.
Benefits related to cardiac event risks are well documented. Like any drug, discuss with your GP and make sure that they know you are taking it.

Gingernaut Thu 19-Jan-17 23:05:29

Reformulations, differing concentrations, new purposes etc.

There is a way to get older drugs repackaged and 'repurposed' (for want of a better description) and these changes can result in pretty big bucks.

Gingernaut Thu 19-Jan-17 23:08:48

Remember thalidomide?

SortAllTheThings Thu 19-Jan-17 23:26:39

Wtf Ginger. Aspirin doesn't make money for anybody, but if it's proven that it helps prevent certain cancer as well as MIs (don't paramedics give aspirin if a heart attack is suspected?) then what exactly is your issue.?

Nobody is repackaging aspirin. Large-scale clinical trials on the benefits of drugs like aspirin and some vitamins could have an enormous impact on public health.

traviata Thu 19-Jan-17 23:41:27

as to the pharma profits question;

My local Trust has just decided to stop prescribing paracetamol, on the basis that anyone can buy it in the supermarket for 20p- 50p.

By contrast, the cost to the NHS of prescribing it was given as £45.

Note: I do not know for how long, or how much, this prescription cost represents. But it does make a stark comparison with the off the shelf cost.

Crumbs1 Thu 19-Jan-17 23:41:34

SortAllTheThings Thu 19-Jan-17 23:52:06

Good link Crumbs

Just found this

Gingernaut Fri 20-Jan-17 02:16:16

Click on the links at the bottom for costings and reformulations

PollyPerky Fri 20-Jan-17 08:19:53

Don't have time to do your research for you Bibbity!
But if you google there is plenty around. I'd be very wary of reading one feature by a non-specialist writer and taking it as the go-ahead.

There are opinions on this that : women under 65 shouldn't use aspirin as it can be harmful (cause internal bleeding) unless they have had a stroke already. It's a treatment in an emergency to bust blood clots for heart attacks but as it's a blood thinner it could also exacerbate or cause a stroke caused by a bleed in the brain (rather than a clot.)

Both my parents (90s) take aspirin as they each had a minor stroke, but as I say, some strokes would be made worse by aspirin- depends on the type of stroke.

I don't know enough about the benefits for cancer, but just like statins or fluoride, my gut reaction is that medicating the masses, 'prophylatically', is not always best. There are probably better and safer ways to reduce cancer risk by diet and lifestyle (unless a person has had cancer and has been advised to take it.)

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 20-Jan-17 08:34:16

Ha! Just thought you might have it at your fingertips Polly, since you knew it existed. No need for the sarcasm. And you will have seen, if you read my op properly, that I've read several articles over a few years so am not basing my question on "one feature by a non-specialist writer". But do go ahead and make an argument out of it if it makes you feel superior better.

Delatron Fri 20-Jan-17 16:15:51

Interesting research, thanks for all the links. I'm going to chat again with my oncologist. I have just stopped taking tamoxifen so would like to feel like I am doing something.
50% of us will get cancer so I really wish they would seriously look at aspirin usage and do some more research.

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