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Even at low doses, there is one drug that people over 70 should not take regularly. Taking it daily increases the risk of anemia.

Studies have already shown that taking low-dose aspirin daily increases the risk of bleeding, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. But researchers from the University of Melbourne (Australia) wanted to know whether this bleeding could cause anemia.

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According to the researchers, about 50% of people over the age of 70 take low doses of aspirin every day for preventive purposes, to thin the blood and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. They therefore sought to find out whether this could have an impact on the level of hemoglobin in the blood.

An increase of more than 20% in the risk of anemia

They recruited more than 19,000 patients aged 70 or over: half continued to receive a daily dose of 100 mg of aspirin and the other half received a dose of sugar as a placebo. The conclusions of this study, published in the Annals of internal medicine, indicate that even at low doses, taking aspirin has an impact on hemoglobin and ferritin levels.

“The data showed that the risk of developing anemia was 23.5% among those assigned to receive low-dose aspirin. These findings were accompanied by a small but larger decrease in mean hemoglobin and a greater decrease in ferritin concentrations” explain the researchers.

Source : Effect of Low-Dose Aspirin Versus Placebo on Incidence of Anemia in the ElderlyAnnals of internal medicine, June 2023

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