April 1, 2016 – Aspirin Again


Anchor lead:  What’s the role of aspirin in preventing different types of cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Aspirin use seems to help prevent some colorectal cancers, and is also helpful in some forms of heart disease.  Now a new study looked at aspirin’s role in other common cancers and failed to find a benefit.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says when she takes all of the current evidence together, a simple strategy emerges.

Miller:  I’m going to focus on the low dose piece, and that crucial window of midlife, which if you combine this study together with prior recommendations it’s that window for men and women around the ages of 50 to 70 roughly, where perhaps the benefits on cardiovascular disease prevention, be it stroke or MI, together with the reduction in colorectal cancer, would make sense for the average person, so I might be recommending a bit more low dose aspirin.    :28

Miller cautions that everyone should talk with their doctor before beginning regular aspirin use, and should definitely mention the practice to all their healthcare providers. She says the low dose appears to offer the most benefit with the least risk for most.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.