Aspirin can improve the healing rates of leg ulcers in older adults, says a study conducted by Monash University on more than 260 participants from wound clinics around Australia.
Venous ulcers are chronic wounds of the lower leg that are more common in older people. An estimated 400,000 Australians suffer from venous leg ulceration (VLU) costing around $2-3 billion/year.
Lead researcher, Dr Carolina Weller, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, said the burden of disease was expected to rise with an ageing population and the growing diabetes and obesity epidemics – all risk factors for the development of venous leg ulcers.
“Current best practice involves compression bandaging therapy, however 30-50 per cent of VLUs remain unhealed after two years and recurrence is common. Two small studies previously suggested that aspirin can improve healing rates and decreases recurrence and we plan to look at that further.
“We believe this study is novel because it involves a large number of participants in a carefully controlled clinical trial to evaluate the therapeutic value of adding aspirin to compression therapy.”
The study will involve 12 weeks of standardised, weekly compression therapy in combination with 12 months of taking either 300mg of Aspirin or a placebo.
Participants must be over 40-years-old, not taking routine aspirin, with a leg ulcer that has existed for at least six weeks in the presence of chronic venous insufficiency. The study will be completed by December 2017.