There is evidence that aspirin and non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) have anti-carcinogenic properties, but their effect on lung cancer, in particular in never-smokers, is unclear. Information on past or current use of anti-inflammatory medication was obtained in 398 Chinese female primary lung cancer cases and 814 controls in a hospital-based study in Singapore. 65% of cases and 88% of controls were never-smokers. Controls were excluded if they had been admitted for conditions associated with aspirin or NSAID use (n=174). Regular aspirin use (twice a week or more, for a month or more) was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.50, 95% confidence intervals [95%CI] 0.31-0.81 in non-smokers; OR 0.38, 95%CI 0.16-0.93 in smokers). Regular use of non-aspirin NSAID, paracetamol, steroid creams and steroid pills was uncommon and no association with lung cancer was detected. Our results suggest that aspirin consumption may reduce lung cancer risk in Asian women and are consistent with current understanding of the role of cyclooxygenase in lung carcinogenesis.
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