Elderly individuals in good health shouldn’t take an aspirin a day, based on a serious examine within the US and Australia.
There are confirmed advantages of the drug for individuals after a coronary heart assault or stroke.
But the trial discovered no profit for wholesome individuals over the age of 70, and the tablets elevated the chance of potentially deadly inner bleeding.
Experts described the results as essential and cautioned against self-medicating with aspirin.
People are prescribed aspirin after a coronary heart assault or stroke as a result of the drug thins the blood and reduces the chances of a repeat assault.
Some utterly wholesome individuals additionally select to take aspirin to cut back their threat and there may be persevering with analysis into whether or not the drug can be utilized to cut the risk of cancer.
However, most analysis on the advantages of aspirin is carried out on individuals in center age and there may be mounting proof the dangers increase as we get older.
The examine was of 19,114 individuals within the US and Australia in good health, with no historical past of coronary heart issues and over the age of 70.
Half got a each day low-dose aspirin for 5 years.
Three experiences within the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed the tablets didn’t cut back their threat of coronary heart issues or have every other advantages.
They did increase the variety of main abdomen bleeds.
Prof John McNeil, from Monash University, stated: “It means thousands and thousands of wholesome older individuals all over the world who’re taking low dose aspirin with no medical cause, could also be doing so unnecessarily, as a result of the examine confirmed no general profit to offset the chance of bleeding.
“These findings will help inform prescribing medical doctors who’ve lengthy been unsure about whether or not to advocate aspirin to wholesome sufferers.”
The examine additionally found an increase in deaths from cancer, though the researchers suppose this wants additional investigation because it goes against current findings within the subject.
Prof Peter Rothwell, of Oxford University, a number one knowledgeable on the drug, stated the findings have been definitive.
“Taking aspirin if you are otherwise healthy, over the age of 70, if you haven’t had a previous heart attack or stroke, is really of very little benefit,” he stated.
“And so self-medicating with aspirin in the absence of a definite medical indication isn’t advisable.”
The findings don’t apply to individuals taking aspirin due to a coronary heart assault or stroke – they need to proceed to observe their physician’s recommendation.
And anyone who has been taking low-dose aspirin for a very long time is suggested to not stop in a single day as which will additionally trigger issues. Instead they need to talk about any considerations with their GP, says Prof Rothwell.
Follow James on Twitter.