1. Aspirin (100mg daily) was not found to be effective in preventing depression in healthy older adults.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Depression is a common mental health condition, accounting for a significant portion of disability cases in both young and older populations. Due to the confirmed role of immune system function in the pathogenesis of depression, preclinical data suggests that aspirin may serve an antidepressant role. This double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial aimed to determine whether or not low-dose aspirin (100mg) could reduce depression risk among healthy older adults, as a substudy within the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial. Included were Australians aged ≥70 years, U.S. Caucasians ≥65 years, and U.S. Black and Hispanic individuals ≥65 years. These 19,114 participants were randomly assigned to aspirin (100mg daily) or placebo with median (IQR) follow-up of 4.7 (3.5 to 5.6) years. A total of 9,525 were assigned to the aspirin group (M [SD] age = 75.2 [4.0] years) and 9,589 were assigned to the placebo group (M [SD] age = 75.1 [4.5] years). No differences in demographics were found between the groups. Each participant completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (CES-D-10; M measurements = 4.2). Those scoring ≥8 did not differ proportionally. Incidence rates of increased CES-D-10 scores to ≥8 was 69.1 per 1,000 person-years in the placebo group and 70.4 per 1,000 person-years in the aspirin group (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.08, p = 0.54). Overall, this study did not find aspirin to be effective in preventing depression in healthy older adults despite its rationale.
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