NMA: Nonprescription Medicines Academy

Low-Dose Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Cognitive Decline in Older Women

December 14th, 2012

In a study designed to examine the effect of low-dose aspirin therapy on cognitive function in an elderly population, aspirin therapy was found to have a neuroprotective effect in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The analysis included data for 681 women 70 to 92 years of age, derived from the Prospective Population Study of Women and the H70 Birth Cohort Study in Gothenburg, Sweden. Of the 681 participants, 129 (18.9%) were treated with low-dose aspirin; 104 women had a daily dose of 75 mg and 25 women had a daily dose of 160 mg. Cognition was measured in 2000 and again in 2005 using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), word fluency, naming ability, and memory word tests. Dementia was diagnosed according to the DSM-III-R criterion. The authors of the current analysis also determined each woman’s cardiovascular risk profile based on the primary care formula from the Framingham Heart Study; 601 of 630 women with evaluable data (95.4%) had a 10% or higher 10-year risk of any CVD event.

A total of 489 women completed the 5-year study follow-up visit. Women treated with low-dose aspirin at any time during the study experienced less of a decline on MMSE at follow-up than those not treated with aspirin (−0.05 for aspirin users vs −0.95 for non-users). The 66 women who were using aspirin in both 2000 and 2005 actually had an increase in MMSE score, compared with the 338 women who had never used aspirin. Within the group of women with high CVD risk, women treated with aspirin had less of a decrease in MMSE scores than those not treated with aspirin (−0.33 vs −0.95).

There were no differences between the groups regarding short-term risk for dementia.

BMJ Open. 2012;2:e001288.
Available at http://bmjopen.bmj.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/content/2/5/e001288.full?sid=...