Aspirin does not improve cognition in elderly women, but . . .

June 1, 2007

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Long-term low-dose aspirin does not improve overall cognition in elderly women, although it may reduce the risk of decline in category fluency, according to a report published online April 27 in BMJ.

Jae Hee Kang, ScD, and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, randomized 6,377 women at least 65 years old to low-dose aspirin (100 mg every other day) or placebo for a mean of 9.6 years. Cognitive function was assessed by tests for general cognition, verbal memory, and category fluency, a total of three times every 2 years over the telephone.

The researchers found that cognitive function was similar in the two groups at the initial assessment. The mean decline in global cognitive score (average performance across all tests), the risk of substantial cognitive decline and verbal memory were also similar in the two groups. However, the aspirin group had a lower risk of decline in category fluency-in this study, this fluency was tested by asking subjects to name as many animals as possible in 1 minute (RR, 0.80).

Kang JH, Cook N, Manson J. Low dose aspirin and cognitive function in the women's health study cognitive cohort. BMJ. Published online at http:// http://www.bmj.com/cgi/rapidpdf/bmj.39166.597836.BEv1/.