With aspirin, an increased risk of anemia in the elderly

Home With aspirin, an increased risk of anemia in the elderly
Written by Doug Hampton

A large Australian study reveals this link, and even from a low dose.

I’aspirin, on the podium of the flagship products of our domestic pharmacies. Most often used to fight against pain or fever, acetylsalicytic acid also thins the blood, and as such it is prescribed to people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Only, even in small doses, it would be associated with an increased risk of anemia, in the long term, in the elderly.

A study of 19,000 patients

The researchers relied on data from a trial called ASPREE (for ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), data relating to more than 19,000 healthy adults, from the United States or Australia, and aged from over 65 years old.

In the first group, the participants received 100 milligrams of aspirin per day, while in the second, was given a placebo.

A small but noticeable difference

Thus, for five years, adults received medical visits and gave their blood for measurement of hemoglobin and ferritin, which is the protein that stores iron in the tissues.

Result ? People taking aspirin every day were 20% more likely to develop anemia than those not taking it. Scientists estimated that 24% of individuals in the first group would develop anemia within five years, compared to 20% in the placebo group.

Chronic diseases increase the risk

Zoe McQuilten, hematologist and lead author of the study, summarized in a press release:

This study gives a clearer view of the additional risk of anemia linked to the use of aspirin. Additionally, the impact is likely to be greater in older people with chronic conditions, such as kidney diseases.

It recommends that doctors pay particular attention to potential symptoms of anemia in this specific public. And she concludes:

Older people are more likely to become anemic in general. Additionally, doctors now have a way to identify patients at higher risk of developing anemia.

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