Two recent trials were published and presented at the European Society of Cardiology – both looked specifically at the question of preventing heart disease and death in individuals without prior history of cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies have confirmed beneficial effect of taking aspirin after a heart attack or stent insertion. The ASCEND and ARRIVE trials addressed whether the same benefit was evident in primary prevention….
Essentially, although aspirin does reduce cardiac events there is no net benefit as it was countered by bleeding events. There was no evidence of aspirin reducing death rates. Therefore, aspirin may benefit some higher risk individuals (diabetics, smokers etc) but efforts at lifestyle intervention are equally likely to benefit, without downsides of bleeding.