The results of a controlled trial, published recently in the journal Neurology, indicate that taking daily low-dose aspirin is not effective in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The study followed over 19,000 men and women over age 70 for nearly five years. Half were given a low dose of aspirin (100 milligram) daily, and the other half took a placebo.
Cognitive changes over time were similar in the aspirin and placebo groups, and there was no substantial difference between the two groups in diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment. These results held true across subgroups, including age, sex, race, ethnicity, and various health factors.
Study participants had no evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at the start of the study. CVD increases risk for vascular dementia, so this group was considered lower risk for dementia to begin with.
In a previous study, the authors found that daily low-dose aspirin in older adults did not prolong disability-free survival but did increase the risk of major hemorrhagic strokes compared with placebo.