Low-dose Aspirin Use Associated with 20% Increased Anemia Risk in Older Adults

21 Jun 2023 • An analysis of the ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) trial, published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the use of low-dose aspirin was associated with a 20 percent increased incidence of anemia and a decline in ferritin, or blood iron levels, in otherwise healthy older adults aged 65years and above. These findings suggest that periodic monitoring of hemoglobin should be considered in older patients taking aspirin.

Researchers conducted a post-hoc analysis of the ASPREE randomized controlled trial. The trial included 19,114 persons aged 65 years or older who were randomly assigned to take 100 mg of aspirin daily or placebo. Hemoglobin was measured annually, and ferritin was measured at baseline and 3 years after randomization.

Low-dose aspirin increased incident anemia and decline in ferritin in otherwise healthy older adults, independent of major bleeding: The data showed that the risk for developing anemia was 23.5 percent among those assigned to receive low-dose aspirin. These results were accompanied by a small but greater decrease in mean hemoglobin and a greater decline in ferritin concentrations among those receiving aspirin.

Given these findings, older adults on low-dose aspirin and their care providers may want to consider periodic monitoring of hemoglobin.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine | Read full story

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