Aspirin is one of the most commonly used medicines in the world. Whether the benefits of taking aspirin to maintain a life free of disability in an older person outweigh the risk of bleeding is a critically important health question to answer.
While it is known that aspirin prevents heart attacks and strokes in people with established heart disease—benefits which clearly outweigh any risks associated with aspirin, such as bleeding—the role of aspirin in people without a history of cardiovascular disease is less certain.
To date, very little information is available about the overall effects of aspirin in older adults, because most trials focus on middle-aged people.
Because of its proven effectiveness in preventing second events, many doctors have also prescribed aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes in otherwise healthy people/. However, in the last couple of years, serious doubts have been raised about the evidence supporting this practice, and as a result, editorials in major medical journals have called for this question to be settled.