Commentary

Prophylactic aspirin and public

  • Received: 07 August 2013 Accepted: 25 October 2013 Published: 31 October 2013
  • The clinical use of aspirin, first synthesized over 100 years ago, entered a new phase in 1974 with the reporting of the first randomised trial showing a reduction in vascular disease deaths from low-doses. More recent evidence suggests that the medicine is effective against cancer, which makes aspirin of very considerable potential importance to public health improvement and potentially also to clinical practice. It appears that prophylactic aspirin is being increasingly used throughout the community. There is need therefore for the risks and benefits of low-dose aspirin, and its' role within healthcare and within public health, to be widely discussed not least as media reports are bringing this issue into the public domain. It also follows that policy decisions need to be taken as to whether or not its use should be actively promoted. In particular, it is important that Doctors and healthcare practitioners are well informed of the risks and benefits so that they can impart this knowledge during consultations. Furthermore, it is important that low-dose aspirin is not perceived as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, but that it is recommended and uptake monitored alongside other protective behaviours to improve on health gain, such as smoking cessation, moderate alcohol intake, exercise and diet.

    Citation: Gareth Morgan. Prophylactic aspirin and public[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2014, 1(1): 1-8. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2013.1.1

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  • The clinical use of aspirin, first synthesized over 100 years ago, entered a new phase in 1974 with the reporting of the first randomised trial showing a reduction in vascular disease deaths from low-doses. More recent evidence suggests that the medicine is effective against cancer, which makes aspirin of very considerable potential importance to public health improvement and potentially also to clinical practice. It appears that prophylactic aspirin is being increasingly used throughout the community. There is need therefore for the risks and benefits of low-dose aspirin, and its' role within healthcare and within public health, to be widely discussed not least as media reports are bringing this issue into the public domain. It also follows that policy decisions need to be taken as to whether or not its use should be actively promoted. In particular, it is important that Doctors and healthcare practitioners are well informed of the risks and benefits so that they can impart this knowledge during consultations. Furthermore, it is important that low-dose aspirin is not perceived as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, but that it is recommended and uptake monitored alongside other protective behaviours to improve on health gain, such as smoking cessation, moderate alcohol intake, exercise and diet.
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    © 2014 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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