What your participation means to global health
Government and health authorities make recommendations based on scientific evidence that proves the benefit of a particular therapy outweighs the risks.
All medications have side effects and low-dose aspirin is no exception. Aspirin is often prescribed for ‘secondary prevention’ in people who have had a heart attack or stroke because research demonstrates that in this instance, the benefit of preventing another heart attack or stroke clearly outweighs risks, such as bleeding. Some health agencies are reluctant to recommend healthy older people take low-dose aspirin for ‘primary prevention’ (to prevent a first heart attack or stroke), not because the risks are higher – people taking aspirin for secondary prevention are also at risk of side-effects – but because there is a lack of evidence about aspirin’s overall benefit in older, healthy people.
There are indications that aspirin may prevent the onset of a heart attack, stroke, dementia, depression and some cancers, however these potential benefits have never been proven or weighed against the risks in healthy older people. Until the results of large clinical aspirin trials such as ASPREE are known, government health authorities have little choice but to maintain the status quo.
Only through the generous support of our 19,113 ASPREE participants, will the world know in 2018 whether aspirin prolongs good health in later years.
- If aspirin is shown to be of overall benefit, millions of healthy older people around the world will be advised to take aspirin.
- If aspirin is shown not to be of benefit, then many older people will stop taking an unnecessary medication.
- Your participation contributes to better health for future generations.
For this we thank you.