The Long-Term Benefits of Increased Aspirin Use by At-Risk Americans Aged 50 and Older

David Agus, Etienne Gaudette, Dana Goldman, and Andrew Messali find that over 40 percent of men and 10 percent of women aged 50 to 79 with high cardiovascular risk are not taking a daily aspirin as prescribed and if they were it would improve national life expectancy at age 50 by 0.28 years and would add 900,000 people to the US population by 2036. They estimate the economic value of this improvement, taking into account the potential risks associated with long-term aspirin use, would be $692 billion in net health benefits. The authors use the Future Elderly Model, a microsimulation housed at the USC Schaeffer Center, to project the lifetime health and spending under two scenarios. Given the recent change made by the US Preventative Services Task Force in April 2016 to scale back the recommendation, this research provides evidence that benefits of this low-cost therapy outweigh risks at the population level.

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Citation: Agus, D. B., Gaudette, É., Goldman, D. P., & Messali, A. (2016). The long-term benefits of increased aspirin use by at-risk Americans aged 50 and older. PloS one11(11), e0166103.