An aspirin a day keeps the doctors away

Researchers at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney say that in four years, an aspirin a day can prevent 54 deaths, 40 strokes and 40 non-fatal heart attacks for every 1,000 people with kidney disease.

The study results are based on data from an international study of over 18,000 people with high blood pressure aged between 50 and 80, approximately 20 percent of whom had mild to moderate Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

The analysis also confirmed that people who have previously had a stroke or heart attack can stave off a repeat episode by taking aspirin.

Lead study author, Dr Meg Jardine said “Until now there’s been no clear evidence that aspirin therapy benefits people at high risk of heart disease and stroke, including those with CKD. This has led to uncertainty about whether to recommend aspirin therapy.”

“Our study shows that people with high blood pressure and CKD would really benefit from taking aspirin to prevent the blood clots that lead to heart attacks and stroke; but because this group are often not analysed separately in clinical trials we’ve lacked the evidence for providing this treatment until now,” explains Jardine.

“We found the cost for preventing deaths and reducing the incidence of heart attacks and strokes was that there would be an additional 27 major and 12 minor bleeds in every 1,000 people with CKD taking aspirin. On balance it reveals the benefits outweigh the harms,” she says.