Low doses of aspirin reduce the risk of diabetes in people over the age of 65. Thus, aspirin could effectively contribute to the prevention of diabetes.
A recent study looked at how low-dose aspirin treatment (100 milligrams daily) affects the onset of diabetes and fasting plasma glucose levels in older people. The results will be presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
Aspirin increases risk of serious bleeding
The team conducted a follow-up study to the so-called ASPREE study. This originally found that aspirin was linked to a 38 percent increased risk of major bleeding in older people without reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
The study included participants aged at least 65 years who did not suffer from any cardiovascular disease and also did not have any disabling physical disabilities or dementia.
What does daily aspirin do?
The 16,209 participants were divided into two groups. In one of them they received 100 milligrams of aspirin daily, in the control group only a placebo. Subjects with diabetes at baseline were excluded from the study.
With the help of computers and statistical models, the experts evaluated the effectiveness of aspirin on the occurrence of diabetes and the values of the fasting plasma glucose level.
Over a median medical follow-up of 4.7 years, a total of 995 cases of diabetes occurred, 459 in the aspirin group and 536 in the control group.
15 percent lower risk of diabetes
Compared to the control group, the risk of developing diabetes was 15 percent lower in the aspirin group. The team also reports that the rise in blood sugar was slower.
“Aspirin treatment reduced the incidence of diabetes and slowed the rise in fasting plasma glucose levels over time in originally healthy older adults,” the researchers summarize in a press release.
Further research warranted
“With the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in older adults, the potential of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin to prevent type 2 diabetes or improve blood sugar levels needs further investigation,” the experts add.
“While these new findings are interesting, they do not currently change clinical recommendations for taking aspirin in older people,” said study author Professor Sophia Zoungas.
Since the earlier results of the ASPREE study had shown that aspirin is associated with a significantly increased risk of bleeding (which mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract), it is only appropriate to take it when there is a medical reason for it, such as after a heart attack. (as)