Lung cancer and regular use of aspirin and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008 Apr;17(4):322-7. doi: 10.1002/pds.1532.


Purpose: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US. There is evidence of a reduced risk of some cancer sites associated with use of aspirin (ASA) and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NANSAIDs). Our objective was to examine the association of regular use of ASA and NANSAIDs with lung cancer.

Methods: A hospital-based case-control study of 1884 incident cases of lung cancer and 6251 controls with noncancer diagnoses. Use of ASA and NANSAIDs was considered 'regular' if it occurred on > or =4 days/week and lasted for > or =3 months. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: The OR for regular use of ASA was 1.1 (0.9-1.4), and the corresponding estimate for regular NANSAID use was 1.0 (0.7-1.3). There was no evidence of decreased risk within strata of age, sex, years of education, or interview year. Examining the association within strata of duration of use, recency of use, cigarette smoking status, pack-years of cigarette smoking, or histologic type of cancer produced no ORs significantly different from 1.0.

Conclusions: The hypothesis that regular use of ASA or NANSAIDs reduces the risk of lung cancer is not supported by the present data.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pharmacoepidemiology / methods
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin