Low-Dose Aspirin May Cause Bleeding in the Skull, According to New Report


A new study indicates that taking low-dose aspirin may lead to an increased chance of bleeding in the skull.

aspirin brain risks

Low-dose aspirin is often taken as a preventative measure to combat heart disease and stroke. However, for those who don’t have a history of such conditions, they may be putting themselves at risk.

What the Research Shows

Data from 13 prior studies were analyzed by the researchers and the results were published in JAMA Neurology on Monday. In those studies, more than 130,000 people between the ages of 42 and 74 were given low-dose aspirin or a placebo to prevent the aforementioned conditions.

Low-dose aspirin is usually defined as being between 75 and 100 milligrams. Most pills found over the counter are 81 milligrams.

Those who were given the placebo had a 0.46 percent chance of having a head bleed. For those taking low-dose aspirin, the risk increased to 0.63 percent. That’s about an extra 2 out of every 1,000 people.

The researchers found that Asian people with a BMI of under 25 had the greatest risk.

Recommended Daily Dose

Taking low-dose aspirin had been commonplace, recommended for older adults to help prevent blood clots. However, in light of the new evidence, it is no longer a recommended practice for those who aren’t at high risk for heart disease.

In March, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association updated their guidelines to reflect this change.

“Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease,” said Johns Hopkins cardiologist Dr. Roger Blumenthal, co-chaired of the March guidelines. “It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin.”

He added: “Aspirin should be limited to people at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and a very low risk of bleeding.”

The study’s authors reasserted that, due to the risks, caution should be exercised when prescribing low-dose aspirin.