The review of existing research has been published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. It looked at 67 different reviews and found that a small dose (less than 325milligrams a day, roughly one tablet) for people without cardiovascular disease was associated with a 17% lower incidence of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke.
In contrast there was also a 47% higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and a 34% higher risk of bleeding in the skull.
Dr Thompson adds: “This is something that people may be doing every day that can cause unnecessary harm. Our study shows that an aspirin a day should only be taken by people who have a cardiovascular condition or have been told by a doctor that they are in danger of developing one.”
The report also looked at research that said aspirin could help prevent cancer but found the risks again outweighed the benefits.