Elderly people above 75 who consume aspirin on daily basis may prove more dangerous and increase the risk of fatal bleeding in them. They need to be given heartburn drugs to decrease its effect, a 10-year-old study says. About 40 to 60 percent of the elderly people having age above 75 in the US and Europe takes aspirin to prevent heart attack or strokes.
Professor Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford in the UK said in a statement, “We have known for some time that aspirin increases the risk of bleeding for elderly patients.” He further added saying, “But our new study gives us a much clearer understanding of the size of the increased risk and of the severity and consequences of bleeds.” The study involved 3,166 Britain patients who had previously suffered a heart attack or stroke and those who were taking blood-thinning medication for the same. After a period of 10 years, 314 patients were admitted to the hospital as they were suffering from bleeding.
Researchers did not recommend to completely stop taking aspirin but they insisted on taking proton pump inhibitor heartburn drugs such as omeprazole along with aspirin, which can reduce the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding by 70 to 90 percent. Patients having age under 65 taking aspirin daily were admitted to the hospital at a rate of 1.5 percent, while those having age between 75 to 84 were admitted at the rate of 3.5 percent and 5 percent for patients over 85. As the age increased the risk of fatal bleeding eventually increased with age.
“The benefits of aspirin outweighed the risks of bleeding in all patients and that new research would force a reappraisal”, said Alan Boyd, President of Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine. Rothwell discovered that the frequency of lethal bleeds was less than 0.5 percent in under the age of 65, 1.5 percent for those ages 75-84 and rising to 2.5 percent for over 85s. Hence, the study concluded that proton pump inhibitor could be safe as they are not the benign medications.