Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of bmjcredLink to Publisher's site
Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1988 January 30; 296(6618): 313–316.
PMCID: PMC2544821

Randomised trial of prophylactic daily aspirin in British male doctors


A six year randomised trial was conducted among 5139 apparently healthy male doctors to see whether 500 mg aspirin daily would reduce the incidence of and mortality from stroke, myocardial infarction, or other vascular conditions. Though total mortality was 10% lower in the treated than control group, this difference was not statistically significant and chiefly involved diseases other than stroke or myocardial infarction. Likewise, there was no significant difference in the incidence of non-fatal myocardial infarction or stroke—indeed, disabling strokes were somewhat commoner among those allocated aspirin. The lower confidence limit for the effect of aspirin on non-fatal stroke or myocardial infarction, however, was a substantial 25% reduction. Migraine and certain types of musculoskeletal pain were reported significantly less often in the treated than control group, but as the control group was not given a placebo the relevance of these findings was difficult to assess. There was no apparent reduction in the incidence of cataract in the treated group.

The lack of any apparent reduction in disabling stroke or vascular death contrasts with the established value of antiplatelet treatment after occlusive vascular disease.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (905K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Peto R, Pike MC, Armitage P, Breslow NE, Cox DR, Howard SV, Mantel N, McPherson K, Peto J, Smith PG. Design and analysis of randomized clinical trials requiring prolonged observation of each patient. I. Introduction and design. Br J Cancer. 1976 Dec;34(6):585–612. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • O'Neill BP, Mann JD. Aspirin prophylaxis in migraine. Lancet. 1978 Dec 2;2(8101):1179–1181. [PubMed]
  • Kewitz H, Nitz M, Gaus V. Aspirin and cataract. Lancet. 1986 Sep 20;2(8508):689–689. [PubMed]
  • van Heyningen R, Harding JJ. Do aspirin-like analgesics protect against cataract? A case-control study. Lancet. 1986 May 17;1(8490):1111–1113. [PubMed]
  • Gerrity TR, Cotromanes E, Garrard CS, Yeates DB, Lourenço RV. The effect of aspirin on lung mucociliary clearance. N Engl J Med. 1983 Jan 20;308(3):139–141. [PubMed]

Articles from British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.) are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group