An Aspirin a day keeps the doctor away

A study done at USC shows that the daily use of aspirin could result in a longer life in older Americans. Since the study wasn’t laid out for me in an abstract, rather just published on a website, I decided to use their findings and create an abstract of their work.


Null Hypothesis: Aspirin does not lengthen the life of older Americans.

Alternative Hypothesis: Aspirin lengthens the life of older Americans.

Subject Scenarios: This study is ethically difficult to conduct, considering it impacts people’s lives and the longevity of their lives, so the researchers at USC used simulations and surveys in order to duplicate the effects. USC researchers ran two scenarios which project the health of older Americans and their trajectory in aging. These were called the “Guideline Adherence” and the “Universal Eligibility”.

Guideline Adherence: focused on determining the potential health and savings, benefits and drawbacks of following the task force’s guidelines from 2009.

Universal Eligibility:  Not realistic and aimed to measure the full potential benefits and drawbacks if all Americans 51 and older, regardless of the guidelines, took aspirin every day.

Results: Researchers found the following the daily low-dose guidelines, 11 cases of heart disease and 4 cases of cancer for every 1,000 Americans between the ages of 51 to 79. In addition, the life expectancy of these Americans increased by .3 years. Therefore, by the year 2036, an estimated 900,000 more Americans would be alive as a result of the aspirin regimen. Negative results were shown in terms of not being able reduce the rate of strokes as well as increasing the rate of gastrointestinal bleeding by 25%.

Conclusion: I would reject the null hypothesis. However, there are some flaws in this study. First, the fact that no actual being (whether that be people or animals) are being used on this study makes the results much more difficult to believe to be accurate. This may have been victim to the Texas-Sharpshooter problem because the researchers wanted a result. Also, the results do not seem significant enough to recommend to people to take aspirin daily. If a larger majority of the people were positively affected then I could understand the recommendation. In my opinion, in order for this study to have been done more accurately, a placebo would have been a good alternative to see the difference between taking an aspirin daily and not taking one daily.

An aspirin a day extends life, prevents heart attacks for certain older Americans

2 thoughts on “An Aspirin a day keeps the doctor away

  1. Mya Legend Avant

    I have the same issue as you with the results of this study. I wonder how accurate the results can truly be if the test was more so a survey. Surveys can be a great way of getting information but I also know that people’s responses can be skewed and people may not always answer questions the best way; not to mention the possible issue of leading question. If the people in charge of the study want a certain result than all of these things can be an issue. However, lets just say that the results of this study were not affected by the fact that actual people were not tested; couldn’t it be that a third variable was the cause of participants living long lives. I have found that people who are interested in which new thing the doctors reccomend for a healthy life are also active, eat well and overall take care of themselves. So I wonder could it be that the people selected for the study or survey were just generally healthy and that this is the cause of their long lives?

Leave a Reply