A new study has found a daily dose of aspirin can be harmful, the Daily Mail reported.

Dr Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) in the US, told the Daily Mail: "Clinical guidelines note the benefits of aspirin for preventing heart attacks and strokes in persons with vascular conditions such as coronary artery disease.

"The concern has been uncertainty about whether aspirin is beneficial for otherwise healthy older people without those conditions.

"This study shows why it is so important to conduct this type of research, so that we can gain a fuller picture of aspirin's benefits and risks among healthy older persons."

For the study, researchers followed the lives of thousands of older people for close to four years. Participants took aspirin daily and had not suffered a heart attack or stroke.

They found the so-called 'wonder pill' does not help older people live longer or live dementia free.  Even more alarming, they had a significantly high risk of bleeding, mainly in the brain and gastrointestinal tract.

The results of the study showed out of those that took aspirin, "90.3 per cent remained alive at the end of the treatment without persistent physical disability or dementia, compared with 90.5 per cent of those taking a placebo", the report revealed.

The group taking aspirin also had increased risk of death. There was also a slight increase in cancer cases reported in the group taking aspirin.

"The increase in cancer deaths in study participants in the aspirin group was surprising, given prior studies suggesting aspirin use improved cancer outcomes," Doctor Leslie Ford, associate director for clinical research, at the National Cancer Institute in the US, told the Daily Mail.

Adding, "Analysis of all the cancer-related data from the trial is under way and until we have additional data, these findings should be interpreted with caution."

The findings could help better understand the role of aspirin in disease prevention.

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