THE region’s scientists are to carry out a major trial to look at whether eliminating a common stomach bug can make aspirin safer.
Experts from Durham University will consider whether wiping out the illness in the guts of patients taking up to 325mgs of the drug a day, can reduce the risk of developing stomach ulcers and associated bleeding which can kill thousands every year.
The scheme, which will target Helicobacter pylori, will recruit about 10,000 patients infected with the illness.
The Helicobacter Eradication Aspirin Trial also involves the universities of Nottingham, Southampton and Oxford.
Professor Greg Rubin, from Durham University’s School of Medicine and Health, said: “Aspirin is a valuable and widely used drug, but it can have serious side-effects.
“In fact, aspirin is so widely used that it has become the most common cause of ulcer bleeding.
“This study will answer an important question about how we can make it a safer drug to take.
“It will be one of the largest trials that has been attempted in the UK and Yorkshire and the North East will be part of it because of the region’s great support for our research.”