Taking three aspirin a week increases the chance of living a longer life by a fifth, new research suggests
- Pensioners who took the drug on a regular basis were alive a decade later
- Aspirin has a protective effect for bowel and gastrointestinal cancers
- The research suggests there is a body off evidence about its benefits
Older people could significantly increase their chances of enjoying a long retirement by taking aspirin regularly, according to new research.
Pensioners who took the drug at least three times a week were almost a fifth more likely to be alive about a decade later than those who did not.
The findings of the study bolster a growing body of evidence about the benefits of aspirin.
A team led by the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, followed 146,152 Americans over the age of 65 between 1993 and 2008.
Widespread benefits: Aspirin use can help to reduced any cancer, gastro-intestinal, and colorectal [bowel] cancer
They were asked a range of questions, including how frequently they took aspirin, and researchers monitored their health for an average period of 12 years.
Those who took the drug three times a week or more were 19 per cent less likely to have died during that period than those who did not take it, and were 15 per cent less likely to have died of cancer.
In particular, aspirin appeared to have a protective effect for bowel and gastrointestinal cancers, with 29 and 25 per cent fewer cases respectively.
Writing in the Journal Of The American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, the team concluded: ‘We found a significant association of aspirin use with reduced all-cause – any cancer, gastro-intestinal, and colorectal [bowel] cancer – mortality among individuals 65 years and older.’
In the UK, aspirin typically comes in 300mg ‘painkiller dose’ pills and 75mg ‘low-dose’ pills.
Protective: The long-term impact of taking aspirin is said to be protective but other reviews suggest that is not the case
Previous research has indicated that long-term use of a daily single low-dose pill has a protective effect, although a review of 13 separate smaller studies published in JAMA last January found no positive link and warned of a raised risk of internal bleeding.