Study to See if Aspirin Prolongs Life

SAN ANTONIO, July 31 (UPI) — Researchers in the United States and Australia say they are conducting a study to determine whether aspirin prolongs life or reduces disability.

“We really need to know if something as simple as taking a baby aspirin each day can change the trajectory of mental and physical decline that we so often see in our older patients,” Dr. Michael L. Parchman of the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine says in a statement.

Aspirin is known to prevent heart attacks and strokes in those with heart disease — a benefit that outweighs any risks associated with aspirin, such as bleeding — but how aspirin affects those without a history of cardiovascular disease is less certain.

“In the U.S., Australia and elsewhere, people are living longer, so identifying treatments to prolong life free of physical disability and memory problems is increasingly important,” Dr. Anne Murray of the University of Minnesota says in a statement. “Aspirin is a potentially useful drug, as it is cheap and widely available.”

The study will enroll 6,500 healthy U.S. adults age 70 and older and another 12,500 in Australia, Parchman says.

All eligible participants will be randomly assigned to take either low-dose aspirin or placebo daily for about five years.

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