Long-term, continuous use of low-dose aspirin and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with decreased colorectal cancer risk. The findings of a population-based, case-control study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common non-skin cancer in the world. Colorectal neoplasms have a long progression, making colorectal cancer an obvious target for preventive interventions. Studies have suggested that regular aspirin and other NSAID use can reduce colorectal cancer risk, but a recent comprehensive review concluded that more research is needed to determine the optimal use of aspirin for cancer prevention.
Researchers reviewed data on drug use, comorbid conditions, and history of colonoscopy from prescription and patient registries in Northern Denmark. Based on prescriptions filled, taking 75 to 150 mg of aspirin continuously for five years or longer was associated with a 27 percent reduced risk for colorectal cancer and five or more years of continuous nonaspirin NSAID use was associated with a 30 to 45 percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk. Nonaspirin NDAIDS with the highest COX-2 selectivity were associated with the largest risk reductions.
The authors caution that patients with the highest adherence comprised only about 2 to 3 percent of all low-dose aspirin users in the study population, and these persons may have a risk profile for colorectal cancer that differs from that of the general population. In addition, other lifestyle factors were not measured.
Materials provided by American College of Physicians. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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