Do you take a daily dose of the Aspirin ‘wonder-drug’?
If so, a new study suggests that you might not be taking the right dose.
Too little, and you may not see any benefits, while too much and you may be causing "more harm than good."
The latest study, led by researchers from the University of Oxford, suggests that your daily dose should be based on your body-size.
Previous studies have provided conflicting findings about the benefits of a daily Aspirin.
For example, the difference in its effectiveness for men and women, and in causing problems for older people.
And a key problem may be in a ‘one-dose-fits-all’ approach.
Professor Peter Rothwell from the Nuffield Department at the University of Oxford says: "The several hundred trials of aspirin in prevention of vascular events have all tested a ‘one-dose-fits-all’ approach, but it appears that this is not a very effective strategy, and might sometimes do more harm than good."
The researchers suggest that people with higher body-size would benefit from a higher dose to see significant benefits.
In contrast, those with lower body-size (often women or the elderly) could actually be harmed by the standard doses, and instead require a more moderate amount.
The study revealed "higher prevention of heart attacks, strokes and cancer" when patients took a dose decided by their weight compared to at the standard low dose usually suggested.
Interestingly, the standard ‘low-dose’ varies around the world.
The researchers found that standard low-dose aspirin (75-100mg daily), which is widely used in UK and Europe, would be insufficient at high body-size, whereas higher doses (325mg daily is widely used in the USA) would be excessive at lower body-size.
In an accompanying commentary, Professors Katherine Theken and Tilo Grosser, University of Pennsylvania, added: "Rothwell and colleagues present provocative results with the potential to substantially impact public health.
"Clearly, further research is warranted to determine whether weight-adjusted dosing of aspirin should be incorporated into routine clinical care."
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