Low-dose aspirin may increase risk of anemia in older adults

June 21, 2023
Data analysis from NIH-funded clinical trial reveals new insights.

A recent follow-up analysis of data from an international, National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trial suggests daily low-dose aspirin increases the risk of anemia in people aged 65 years and older by approximately 20%. Given these findings, older adults on low-dose aspirin and their care providers may want to consider periodic monitoring of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Anemia in older adults is associated with functional decline, increased fatigue, disabilities, depressive symptoms, and cognition problems.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists from the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study examined the effect of long-term low-dose aspirin use on incident anemia and the effect of aspirin on changes in hemoglobin concentration, as well as ferritin levels, as an indicator of iron deficiency. The researchers found that low-dose aspirin led to increased incident anemia in otherwise healthy older adults at enrollment, independent of major bleeding.

NIH release

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