Cancer :: Aspirin use, but not NSAIDS, associated with reduced cancer risk

In a prospective study, aspirin use was associated with lower risk of cancer incidence and mortality, particularly among former and non-smokers.

The effectiveness of aspirin and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in preventing cancer is unclear, and the relationship is complicated further when smoking history is considered.

Aditya Bardia, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from the Iowa Women?s Health Study on aspirin and nonaspirin NSAID use, cancer incidence and mortality, and smoking history.

Aspirin use was associated with decreased risk of cancer incidence and mortality, as well as heart disease mortality, compared to people who didn?t take aspirin. The association was stronger among former and never smokers than current smokers, although the difference was not statistically significant. Nonaspirin NSAID use was not associated with decreased risk.

?? Aspirin use could potentially prevent approximately 4.7% of the cancer incidence burden, 3.5% of the cancer mortality burden, and 7.6% of the coronary heart disease mortality burden in the population. Although these percentages may seem small, the impact on public health could be important,? the authors write.

Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann, Mayo Clinic, Department of Public Affairs,, (507) 266-0810

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