The formation of four-stranded DNA has been tracked in living human cells, allowing scientists to see how it works, and its possible role in cancer. DNA usually forms the classic double helix shape discovered in 1953 - two strands wound around each other. Several other structures have been ... more
Aspirin cuts heart attack risk but increases chance of dangerous bleeding
Regular aspirin should not be recommended for preventing heart attack and stroke in people without cardiovascular disease. The researchers, from Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute and King's College London, analysed 13 clinical trials – involving more than 164,000 participants – that assessed regular aspirin use to prevent heart attack or stroke in people without cardiovascular disease.
Reassessing the small benefit
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for any condition affecting the heart and blood vessels, and is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
Previous research has suggested taking a regular low dose of aspirin may prevent heart attack and stroke even in people without cardiovascular disease. Aspirin thins the blood, therefore experts believed regular low levels could prevent formation of a clot, which would otherwise trigger stroke or heart attack.
However, the latest research suggests regular aspirin only results in a small benefit in people without cardiovascular disease – and this benefit is matched by an increased risk of serious internal bleeding.
Dr Sean Zheng, lead author from Imperial said: “Our study provides an up-to-date overview of the benefits and risk of aspirin use in people who have no known cardiovascular disease. A significant number of people worldwide who have never previously suffered heart attacks or strokes take aspirin with the expectation that it prevents such events from happening. Our study shows that the cardiovascular benefits of aspirin are modest, and matched by corresponding increases in serious bleeding risks.”
The study results suggest aspirin use was associated with lower risk (absolute risk reduction of 0.38 percent) for cardiovascular events (a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attack and nonfatal stroke) and increased risk of major bleeding (absolute risk increase of 0.47 percent).
Dr Zheng explained: “We found that for every 265 patients treated with aspirin for 5 years, one heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease would be prevented. On the other hand, for every 210 patients treated with aspirin over the same period, one would have a serious bleeding event.”
Dr Zheng pointed out that more data is needed, but on the evidence available, aspirin should not be taken by people who do not have cardiovascular disease.
“Several guidelines continue to recommend the use of aspirin in prevention of heart attacks and strokes in people who are deemed to be at high risk, or in those with diabetes. Our study shows that in such groups, cardiovascular benefit and bleeding risks were matched with no clear evidence of a net benefit. This suggests the use of aspirin in patients without cardiovascular disease should not be routinely recommended.”
- myocardial infarction
- heart attack
- Imperial College London
- blood vessels
- blood tests
- blood flow
- acetylsalicylic acid
Scientists have discovered that a marker in the blood could help predict the risk that a person will develop kidney cancer. The study, supported by Cancer Research UK, examined the blood of 190 people who went on to develop kidney cancer, compared to 190 controls who did not. The team found ... more
Some bacteria can release toxins that provoke their neighbours into attacking each other, a tactic that could be exploited to fight infections. Bacteria often engage in 'warfare' by releasing toxins or other molecules that damage or kill competing strains. This war for resources occurs in m ... more
- 1Detect neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's by a simple eye scan?
- 2Fluorescence microscopy at highest spatial and temporal resolution
- 3The Mechanics of the Immune System
- 4Resolve Biosciences Launches New Era in Single-Cell Spatial Analysis
- 5Quick look under the skin
- 6New ion trap to create the world's most accurate mass spectrometer
- 7How does your computer smell?
- 8Clocking electron movements inside an atom
- 9Sartorius closes 2020 with strong growth
- 10A clear path to better insights into biomolecules
- New antibiotics by gene editing
- Mystery of high performing novel solar cell materials revealed in stunning clarity
- Scientists discover how bacteria use liquid protein droplets to overcome stress
- New tool can identify harmful blue-green algae
- New deep learning algorithm can pick up genetic mutations and DNA mismatch repair deficiency in colorectal cancers more efficiently