Known Beneficial Effects and Ongoing Research

The studies discussed in the article presented in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology on March 21 revealed that taking low doses of aspirin for 2-5 years may reduce the risk of having cancer in certain at risk populations by up to 25%; reduce the risk of death from cancer by 37%; and, prevent metastasis to other organs by 40-50%.

Patients at risk for heart disease are routinely placed on low dose aspirin.  Patients placed on this regimen have been shown in studies to at least 35% less at risk by taking only one aspirin per month.  This is due to the aspirin’s action as an antiplatelet drug which reduces the likelihood of blood clot.  Blood clots are what ultimately close off arteries stopping the flow of oxygen and blood to the heart and brain.

A report issued regarding a 2011 Mayo Clinic affiliated study revealed that people studied who took at least one aspirin per month had a 26% lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than persons who did not.  Furthermore, this connection was not affected by cancer stage, smoker status or BMI.

An American Cancer Society-affiliated study has reported a definite aspirin-colorectal cancer connection.  Studies have revealed that subjects who have taken 325-mg. aspirin regularly for at least five years are 30% less likely to develop this cancer than people who have not.

Peter Rothwell takes this further in a Lancet article, published prior to the March 21 articles, where he reported that people who take aspirin regularly for five years or longer reduced their risk of developing cancer in the proximal (upper) portion of the colon, including the cecum, appendix, ascending colon, hepatic flexure, transverse colon and splenic flexure by about 70 percent.  Benefit was seen as greatest for cancers of the proximal colon because it is not easily visualized during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy screening.

A UCLA-affiliated study has shown that women who take at least two aspirin per week for at least one month are 40% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than are women who do not take aspirin regularly.   This statistic, however, was found to effect aspirin-taking women, but not aspirin-taking men.

Some research suggests that small doses of aspirin could possible reduce the reddening and flushing that results from rosacea.

In has been shown in  women who have experienced multiple miscarriages due to blood clotting near the placenta that a mixture of aspirin and Heparin, a blood thinner, may assist them in carrying the child to term.

Although further research is required, several studies have indicated that women taking very small amounts of aspirin may lower their risk of pregnancy complications caused by pre-eclampsia or antphospholipid antibody syndrome.

Early studies have shown that a blend of aspirin and other medications may help increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.

Regular aspirin use reduces the risk of non-fatal heart attack in high risk groups by about one-fifth.  It is usually recommended for those who have had coronary stents placed to prevent clogging.

A large scale American Cancer Society-affiliated study has shown that men taking 325 mg. of aspirin on a regular basis for at least five years to be least 20% less at risk of developing prostatic cancer than those who have not.

One Yale study stated that low dose aspirin therapy could prevent liver damage side effects caused by alcoholism, obesity, and drug use.

It has been reported that early studies have noted a relationship between aspirin and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders.

Dartmouth University-affiliated group reports that over 1,000 recently diagnosed colon polyp patients given low dose aspirin for three years and then given follow-up colonoscopies had a 19% reduction in polyp reappearance over those who had not been given aspirin.

Recent studies have revealed that even moderate doses of aspirin can apparently help alleviate some of the discomfort and inflammation of psoriasis.

Research is currently underway in using aspirin to treat migraine headaches, to prevent cataracts, to improve circulation in the gums, and to improve memory.

Other studies include research of how aspirin can prevent adult leukemia, as well as prevent HIV cells from replicating.


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Judi Shirey: Judi is freelance writer for the She has a degree in Journalism and worked in the medical field for 40 years. If you would like to contact Judi you may reach her at
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