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Japanese Study: No Heart Protection from Aspirin

In a study from Japan, taking daily low-dose aspirin did not reduce the risk of early death for people who had a high risk of developing heart disease. The study included 14,464 people, ages 60 to 85. All of them had high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. They did not have known heart disease, however. They were randomly assigned to take a daily low-dose aspirin or no aspirin. Researchers kept track of people for up to 6 years. An expert panel then decided to end the study early. They concluded that the treatment was not helping. That's because the risk of death from heart attack, stroke or related events was no different between the 2 groups. The risk of nonfatal stroke also was the same in both groups. The rates of nonfatal heart attack and transient ischemic attack ("mini-stroke") were reduced by half in the aspirin group.

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