Anemia and vascular disease are commonamong the elderly and frequently coexist. Aspirin is an important part of therapy forvascular disease, but its use has been thought to increase the risk of anemiain the elderly, largely due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Israeli researchersstudied 464 patients with an average age of 77 years to examine the relationshipbetween chronic low-dose aspirin therapy and the presence of anemia.Anemia was 42% less common among aspirin users—a result that was statisticallysignificant. No association was observed between aspirin use andreduced 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.