Benefits of Aspirin
There is growing evidence that taking a daily aspirin is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. Of course this comes with the caveat of "speak first to your doctor" as there are some people and some conditions that make this a less than stellar idea. For most of us, however, it is an inexpensive and easy way to truly help ourselves stay well.
A recent review published in the Annals of Oncology suggests that at least five years of daily aspirin reduces the relative risk of death for women by 7%. There is more evidence that aspirin is beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal cancers and, to a lesser degree, other cancers, including breast. We have known for years that there are cardiovascular benefits, too.
Here is a summary article from MedPage:
Benefits Add Up for Regular Aspirin Use
In general, previous studies focused on aspirin's effect on specific outcomes, such as cancer
or MI. Organizations that recommend risk-reducing therapies, such as the U.S. Preventive
Services Task Force, have not investigated the sum total of risks and benefits for all major
An earlier study by Cuzick and colleagues showed strong evidence that regular aspirin use
afforded protection against colorectal and other types of cancer. However, they concluded
that recommending routine use in the general population would be premature at that point.
The investigators revisited the aspirin issue and added new data to the information they
had already reviewed. The updated analysis included case-control and cohort studies, as
well as randomized trials. They investigated the effects of aspirin on colorectal, esophageal,
stomach, pancreatic, lung, prostate, and breast cancer. They also examined aspirin's effects
on the risk of MI and stroke, and they calculated the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, peptic
ulcer, and major extracranial bleeding.