Fact or fiction: Research sheds light on the safety and effectiveness of aspirin as a preventative strategy

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
Description / Summary

Globally, over 55 million lives were lost in 2019 due to a variety of causes. More than 30 million of those deaths, however, can be attributed to just 10 diseases or conditions. Amongst this list are the usual suspects, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and specific types of cancer.

Given the staggering contribution to morbidity and mortality, it comes as no surprise that researchers, health professionals, and the general public are actively studying, prescribing, and seeking different strategies to keep these diseases and conditions at bay.

One such strategy, which has emerged over the years, is aspirin. For many of us, the extent of our relationship with this over-the-counter medication doesn’t go beyond taking it to get a fever under control or achieve some relief from aches and pains.

With aspirin being widely available and relatively easy to access, should we “buy” into claims around its power to potentially prevent some major threats to our health and well-being?