The research, conducted over 24 years on 79,439 women, found that women who took between one and 14 aspirin per week had a 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 12 percent lower risk of dying from cancer.
"The benefit associated with aspirin was confined to low and moderate doses and was significantly greater in older participants and those with more cardiac risk factors," said the study.
The findings appear in the March 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the publications of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
None of the women reported a history of cancer or cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study.
Aspirin consumption cut heart and circulatory deaths within one to five years, the study said, but aspirin needed to be taken for 10 years before significant cuts in cancer deaths were observed.
Aspirin is known for its anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could help explain its respective effects on heart disease and cancer.
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