A new study is challenging the conventional wisdom that a daily low-dose of aspiring may be beneficial to senior citizens. Long-thought of to be a staple of daily medicine regimes, the taking of a low-dosage aspirin pill every day can actually cause an increased risk of bleeding in older patients, at least according to researchers from Monash University in Australia. The study, which relied on the help of some 20,000 subjects in both Australia and the United States, last for nearly five years.

Titled the “Effect of Aspirin on Disability-free Survival in the Healthy Elderly,” the study in question, from researchers in Australia, sought to challenge the long-held assumption that daily aspirin regiments may be helpful to senior citizens.

Experts have been forced to re-evaluate this claim in the past; the American Association of Retired Persons posited back in 2010 that daily aspirin doses could be causing more harm than good after a study that year arrived at similar conclusions.

New findings

The new findings from researchers are already breaking waves across the US and overseas, in part because the clinical procedures it followed are considered to be ideal for researchers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the new study divided participants into two groups, one of which received a low-dose of aspirin every day whilst the other received a placebo pill. Assessing “disability-free survival,” the researchers found after nearly 5 years of studying that there was virtually no difference between the two groups or a home remedy.

The researchers were quite confident in their findings. “We found there was no discernible benefit of aspirin on prolonging independent, healthy life for the elderly,” one of the lead researchers said, per NPR.

Effect on older patients

All participants in the study were at least 65 years of age. The study noted that, for older patients, in particular, regular doses of aspirin, even small ones, could actually increase the risk of potentially life-threatening bleeding.

While the findings fly in the face of contemporary accounts, they don’t dispel all of the supposed benefits of aspirin.

According to the US Preventative Services Task Force, for instance, daily low-doses of aspirin can still be beneficial to those who have suffered from heart attacks or cardiovascular troubles in the past. Thus, those who have suffered from strokes or heart attacks can rest assured that their daily aspirin regimes likely aren’t pushing them closer to the grave.

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