Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

About one billion people worldwide take regular aspirin, usually to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Writing in The Lancet, researchers have shown that ‘one-dose-fits-all’ use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks, stroke or cancer, is ineffective or harmful in the majority of people, and that a more tailored strategy is required.

Picture of some aspirins on tops of a pale blue background

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Daily aspirin reduces blood clots by inhibiting platelets, but yields only modest long-term reductions in heart attacks and strokes, although it remains the most widely used antiplatelet drug in routine practice. 

The researchers suspected that the disparity between the effect of aspirin on platelets in laboratory studies and clinical benefits in practice might be due to the ‘one-dose-fits-all’ approach adopted in trials and practice, with under-dosing at high body-size and excess-dosing at low body-size. They hypothesised that standard low-dose aspirin (i.e. 75-100mg daily), which is widely used in UK and Europe, would be insufficient at high body-size, whereas higher doses (325mg daily is widely used in the USA) would be excessive at lower body-size.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)

Similar stories

New heart disease calculator could save lives by identifying high-risk patients missed by current tools

Collaborative research, led by the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences (NDPCHS) and published today in Nature Medicine, has developed a new tool called QR4 that more accurately predicts an individual's 10-year risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart disease and stroke, particularly identifying high-risk patients that current prediction tools miss.