The painkiller increases the risk of major, life-threatening bleeding by nearly 50 per cent, and yet has only a marginal protective effect against heart disease.
For healthy people who don't have heart disease, the risks just aren't worth it, say researchers from King's College London. They discovered that the drug reduced the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease by just 11 per cent, and yet raised the risk of major bleeding by 43 per cent. This means that one out of every 200 people regularly taking an aspirin would suffer a major, and potentially life-threatening, bleed.
The researchers couldn't find any evidence to support claims that aspirin also helped reduce the risk of cancer. People who were regularly taking the painkiller were just as likely to develop cancer and die from the disease, they found.