Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pancreatic cancer risk: a nested case-control study

Br J Cancer. 2010 Apr 27;102(9):1415-21. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605636. Epub 2010 Apr 6.


Background: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use has been linked with pancreatic cancer risk; however, findings from epidemiological studies are inconsistent.

Methods: A nested case-control study was conducted within the UK General Practice Research Database. Cases (n=1141) had a diagnosis of primary cancer of the exocrine pancreas between January 1995 and June 2006. Controls (n=7954) were matched with each case on general practice site, sex and year of birth. Conditional logistic regression analyses were used to generate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with NSAID use compared with non-use.

Results: Any use of NSAID in the 5 years before the index date or since entry into the database (excluding the year before diagnosis) was not associated with risk of pancreatic cancer; OR 0.96 (95% CI, 0.84-1.10) and 1.03 (95% CI 0.89-1.19), respectively. Exposure to NSAIDs for > 773 days, in the 5 years pre-diagnosis, was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer OR 0.78 (95%CI 0.62-0.97). There was evidence of reduced pancreatic cancer risk with long-term use (5 years or more) of lower doses of NSAIDs OR 0.70 (95% CI 0.49-0.99).

Conclusion: Long-term exposure to NSAIDs may be associated with a reduction in risk of pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Databases as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal