The recent Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis study found that giving healthy people a daily aspirin may not be a wise practice. The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and presented to the European Society of Cardiology Congress in August of 2009. The subjects were 3,350 men and women between the ages 50 and 75, without history of heart disease or heart attack.
The subjects were divided into two groups, one receiving a placebo and the other receiving 100 mg aspirin per day. After eight years there was no difference in the number of cardiovascular events, including heart attack or stroke, between the two groups. A larger portion of the group receiving the aspirin had GI bleeding when compared to the placebo group (2% compared to 1.2%). Researchers concluded that while aspirin can benefit patients with symptoms of artery disease or blockage, people without cardiovascular problems should not take a daily aspirin because the risk of GI bleeding outweighs the benefits of aspirin therapy.