Aspirin and lung cancer risk in a cohort study of women: dosage, duration and latency

Br J Cancer. 2007 Nov 5;97(9):1295-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603996. Epub 2007 Sep 25.


Aspirin may reduce the risk of cancer at some sites but its effect at the lung is unclear. We prospectively examined associations between aspirin use and risk of lung cancer in 109,348 women in the Nurses' Health study from 1980 to 2004. During this time, 1,360 lung cancers were documented in participants 36-82 years of age. Aspirin use and smoking were assessed every 2 years. Risk of lung cancer was a non-significant 16% lower for regular aspirin users of one or two tablets per week and a significant 55% higher for users of 15 or more tablets per week compared with women who never regularly used aspirin. Results were similar when limited to never smokers. For both the low and high quantity aspirin users, risk of lung cancer did not decline or increase with longer durations of use, and associations attenuated as the latency period between aspirin assessment and lung cancer diagnosis was lengthened. Our findings, together with those from previous clinical trials and prospective studies, do not provide consistent evidence that aspirin influences the development of lung cancer and further investigation is required with adjustment for smoking.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemically induced
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / statistics & numerical data
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin