Low-dose aspirin does not prevent depression in older adults

(HealthDay)—For older adults, low-dose aspirin does not reduce the risk for depression, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Michael Berk, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D., from the Deakin University School of Medicine in Geelong, Australia, and colleagues conducted a double-blind trial to determine the impact of low-dose aspirin (100 mg) on the risk for depression among healthy older adults. Participants included individuals of all races/ethnicities older than 70 years in Australia and white individuals older than 70 years and black and Hispanic individuals older than 65 years in the United States. A total of 19,114 participants were enrolled: 9,525 and 9,589 received aspirin and placebo, respectively, and were followed for a median of 4.7 years.

The researchers found that the proportion of Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression 10-item (CES-D-10) scale scores of 8 or higher did not differ significantly at annual visits in the aspirin and placebo groups. The incidence rate of new CES-D-10 scores of 8 or higher was 70.4 and 69.1 events per 1,000 person-years in the aspirin and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 1.08; P = 0.54).

“This study failed to confirm any potential benefit of low-dose aspirin in reducing the risk of depression in this relatively healthy older population,” the authors write.

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