- Aspirin use is associated with a lower risk of developing several cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including potentially fatal diseases such as pancreatic and liver cancers.
Why this matters
- Aspirin has been previously linked to a reduced risk for bowel cancer, and smaller analyses have found associations with esophageal and stomach cancers.
- A meta-analysis of 113 observational studies investigating cancers in the general population.
- Funding: Bayer AG.
- Regular use of aspirin was associated with lower relative risks (RRs; 95% CIs) for:
- Colorectal cancer: 0.73 (0.69-0.78);
- Squamous-cell esophageal cancer: 0.67 (0.57-0.79);
- Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia: 0.61 (0.49-0.77);
- Stomach cancer: 0.64 (0.51-0.82);
- Hepatobiliary cancer: 0.62 (0.44-0.86); and
- Pancreatic cancer: 0.78 (0.68-0.89).
- Aspirin use was not associated with a lower RR for:
- Head and neck cancer: 0.94 (95% CI, 0.76-1.16).
- Dose-related risk reduction for colorectal cancer:
- 75-100 mg daily: 10% reduction;
- 325 mg daily: 35% reduction; and
- 500 mg daily: 50% reduction.
- Inherent biases of observational studies.
- No data on other cardiovascular prevention drugs, which could confound the associations.