This is a 230-word story done by the Los Angeles Times but picked up by the Hartford Courant. It is described as a "capsule." There are often inherent problems with such brief stories, as we discuss elsewhere on this site.
The story describes a study in which aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of developing adult asthma. The story failed to explicitly describe the limitations of such observational studies. The data provided obscure the fact that the absolute difference is really quite small (1.0% vs. 1.3% of aspirin and non-aspirin participants developed asthma–figures which were not provided but are calculable). See our primer on absolute vs. relative data.
The story also failed to describe potential harms of treatment. And it only provides information from the lead author and does not obtain independent input.
The story does not mention the costs of daily aspirin treatment, but the relatively inexpensive over-the-counter cost is well known.
The story states the benefit was a 22% reduction, which is a relative vs. absolute risk. However, the story then provides absolute numbers of people experiencing asthma. Yet, the numbers that are provided still obscure the fact that the absolute difference is really quite small (1.0% vs. 1.3% of aspirin and non-aspirin participants developed asthma–figures which were not provided but calculable). See our primer on absolute vs. relative data.
The story does not mention any harms of aspirin treatment, particularly when one considers that a sizable proportion of patients with asthma can develop life-threatening exacerbations when exposed to aspirin (i.e., those with aspirin-sensitive nasal polyps).
The evidence is based on an observational study, which isn't explicitly mentioned. And there is no explicit discussion of the limitations of this type of study. But the story did include some cautions from the lead author about interpretations of the findings, so we'll give the story the benefit of the doubt on this criterion.
While there is no obvious embellishment about the nature of adult asthma, there is also virtually no information about it (no info given on how common this, who gets it, how much of a problem asthma is, etc.).
The story only provides information from the lead author and does not obtain independent input.
The story does not describe alternative treatment options, but it does state that "aspirin alone is unlikely to trump" other powerful factors in asthma development, such as genetic inheritance and environmental exposures. We'll give the story the benefit of the doubt on this criterion.
Although the story does not explicitly state aspirin is available over-the-counter, aspirin is so commonly known, that this is not necessary.
The story describes that it's been 20 years since the protective heart effects of aspirin were discovered, implying that this is not a new drug, but rather, a potential new application of an existing drug.
We can't be sure if the story relied solely or largely on a news release, although it did cite only one author of one journal study.