Daily aspirin advised for those over 50

April 13, 2005 at 3:04 PM
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CARDIFF, Wales, April 13 (UPI) -- A researcher at Cardiff University's medical school in Wales says everyone over the age of 50 should take a mini-aspirin daily to reduce the risk of stroke.

Prof. Peter Elwood claimed the occurrence of strokes and heart attacks can be reduced by about a third with a low-dose aspirin taken daily, London's Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Elwood, who has studied the effects of aspirin for 30 years, spoke at a London conference organized by the Aspirin Foundation.

"We feel the time is now right for this debate. People should be given the evidence of the benefits and risks so that they can decide what they want to do," he said.

Another researcher, Antony Bayer, senior research fellow in geriatric medicine at Cardiff, said 80 percent of North American specialists believe aspirin should be given to patients with dementia and cardiovascular risk factors.

A research paper calling for a debate on the use of aspirin in older people has been accepted for publication by the British Medical Journal. But the subject is contentious, since aspirin also raises the risk of bleeding, the newspaper reported.

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