People with heart disease can expect to live longer if they take aspirin, according to a new study. The benefits of aspirin for people with a high risk of stroke or heart attack are now well known. For aspirin thins the blood - preventing clotting - and also reduces inflammation. A new study from doctors at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the US now reveals that aspirin reduces deaths from all causes in heart patients.
The researchers followed up over 6,000 patients referred to the Clinic with heart problems between 1990 and 1998. Of these, 37 per cent were prescribed aspirin. Over the following years, taking aspirin reduced the risk of death from all causes by at least 30 per cent. The greatest risk reduction was seen in older people, those who had a reduced capacity for exercise, and those with a history of coronary heart disease.
The study shows that aspirin can be recommended for routine use in heart patients to improve their life expectancy - as along as there are no medical reasons why they shouldn't take it.