The review and meta-analysis, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, included 8 studies with 36,196 participants (mean age, 65 years) who did not have cognitive impairment at baseline.
Nicola Veronese, MD, Aging Section, Institute of Neurosciences, Italian Research Council, Padova, Italy, and colleagues wanted to investigate whether low-dose aspirin (<300 mg/day) can influence the onset of cognitive impairment or dementia in observational studies and improve cognitive test scores in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in participants without dementia.
After adjusting for a median of 3 potential confounders over a median follow-up period of 6 years, chronic use of low-dose aspirin was not associated with onset of dementia or cognitive impairment (5 studies, n = 26,159; odds ratio [OR] = 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-1.22; P = .33; I2 = 67%).
In 3 RCTs (n = 10,037; median follow-up 5 years), the use of low-dose aspirin was not associated with significantly better global cognition (95% CI, 0.04-0.05; P = .84, I2 = 0%) in individuals without dementia.
Adherence was lower in participants taking aspirin than in controls, and the incidence of adverse events was higher.
“Additional studies are needed to test the possibility that low-dose aspirin has beneficial effects when taken over a longer period and at an earlier age,” said Dr. Veronese.