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Anemia and vascular disease are common among the elderly and frequently coexist. Aspirin is an important part of therapy for vascular disease, but its use has been thought to increase the risk of anemia in the elderly, largely due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Israeli researchers studied 464 patients with an average age of 77 years to examine the relationship between chronic low-dose aspirin therapy and the presence of anemia. Anemia was 42% less common among aspirin usersa result that was statistically significant. No association was observed between aspirin use and reduced serum iron or iron saturation, reduced mean corpuscular hemoglobin, or mean corpuscular volume.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.