Aspirin and epithelial ovarian cancer

Prev Med. 2001 Dec;33(6):682-7. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2001.0945.


Background: Epidemiological evidence suggests that chronic inflammation may influence ovarian carcinogenesis. The study objective was to examine the association between the commonly used anti-inflammatory drug aspirin and epithelial ovarian cancer.

Methods: The authors conducted a case-control study based in the New York University Women's Health Study cohort enrolled between 1985 and 1991 in New York City. After a median follow-up period of 12 years, 68 incident cases of epithelial ovarian cancer were identified. Data about regular aspirin use were collected during the 1994-1996 follow-up questionnaire. Using a case-control study design, 10 controls per case were randomly selected among study participants who matched the case by age and menopausal status. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to study the relationships between aspirin and epithelial ovarian cancer by generating odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Relative to no aspirin use, the OR for epithelial ovarian cancer among women who reported aspirin use three or more times per week for a period of at least 6 months was 0.60 (95% CI 0.26, 1.38), after adjustment for age at menarche, parity, oral contraceptive use, and first-degree family history of breast cancer before age 50. Among recent, within the previous 5 years, users of aspirin, the adjusted OR was 0.36 (95% CI 0.11, 1.18).

Conclusion: Although confidence intervals included unity, the observed risk estimates seem to be compatible with previous studies suggesting that regular aspirin use could be inversely associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Parity
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin