Now a new study, published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests a daily aspirin can also cause mild bleeding that leads to anemia in older adults.
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, which provide oxygen to body tissues. Severe anemia can increase a person’s risk of developing an abnormally fast heartbeat or heart failure.
The recent study involved nearly 20,000 adults ages 65 and older in the United States and Australia. Half were given low-dose aspirin (100 milligrams) daily, while the other group received a placebo.
Researchers followed the participants for five years, ensuring yearly blood tests for hemoglobin and ferritin, a protein in blood that stores iron.
“Low-dose aspirin increased incident anemia (by 20%) and decline in ferritin in otherwise healthy older adults, independent of major bleeding,” the scientists wrote.
They also suggested periodic monitoring of hemoglobin in older adults on aspirin.