Why Popping Aspirin Might Actually Be Harmful For Your Health

People who took aspirin had a 43% higher risk of bleeding in the stomach, brain, or intestine, as per a new study.

Health News
2 min read
Stopping popping aspirin. It will not prevent heart attack, dementia,cancer and can actually prove to be counter-productive.

Are you one of those people who regularly pop an aspirin? If you are, then there’s some bad news for you.

Contrary to popular belief, aspirin does not really help in lowering your risk of heart disease, dementia, cancer and stroke. Additionally, a new meta-analysis published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, states that popping aspirin might cause severe internal bleeding.

The analysis, which involved a review of a large number of trials and studies, found that people who took aspirin had a 43% higher risk of bleeding in the stomach, brain, or intestine.


For the analysis, about 1,000 people with no history of cardiovascular disease were monitored for about a year. During this time, they took an aspirin or placebo daily. It was found that people who took aspirin had about 11% less heart attacks and strokes but had a 43% higher risk of bleeding in the stomach, brain, or intestine.

However no effect was found on cancer.

As per a report in The Guardian, Dr Sean Zheng, academic clinical fellow in cardiology at King’s College London, said:

Taking a daily aspirin couldn’t be recommended for healthy people, but that there might still be a case for people with a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke, including those with type 2 diabetes. However, it would be important to consider the bleeding risk. Aspirin use requires discussion between the patient and their physician, with the knowledge that any small potential cardiovascular benefits are weighed up against the real risk of severe bleeding.

In an earlier study, researchers studied over 19,000 people over the age group of 65 and 70 who were asked to take aspirin or placebo over a period of four and half years. The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, not only showed no positive effect, it actually showed that popping low dose aspirin could do you harm.

It increased the risk of significant bleeding in the digestive tract, brain or other sites, that required transfusions or admission to the hospital.

Aspirin is commonly taken by millions of healthy people who have bought into the health benefits of the pill, specially in the US. In India, cardiologists have been aware of the side effects of aspirin and prescribe to only elderly patients who have a previous history of heart attack, stroke or angina, says Dr Ashok Seth.

We very carefully prescribe aspirin to only those elderly patients who have a history of heart disease. And we have to monitor these patients as well because aspirin carries the risk of bleeding in the GI track and brain, specially in the elderly. But here the benefits outweigh the risks.
Dr Ashok Seth, Director, Fortis Escorts

This study should serve as a warning to those who pop pills without proper medical advice.

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