Background & aims: Use of aspirin and/or non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of several cancers, but it is not clear if use of these drugs is associated with risk of pancreatic cancer.
Methods: We evaluated aspirin and non-aspirin NSAID use and risk of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in 141,940 participants from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses' Health Study using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression. We considered several exposure classifications to model differing lag times between NSAID exposure and cancer development. We also conducted a nested case-control study of participants from 3 prospective cohorts using conditional logistic regression to evaluate pre-diagnosis levels of plasma salicylurate, a major metabolite of aspirin, in 396 pancreatic cancer cases and 784 matched individuals without pancreatic cancer (controls).
Results: In the prospective cohort study, 1122 participants developed pancreatic adenocarcinoma over 4.2 million person-years. Use of aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk, even after considering several latency exposure classifications. In a pre-planned subgroup analysis, regular aspirin use was associated with reduced pancreatic cancer risk among participants with diabetes (relative risk, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.54-0.94). In the nested case-control study, pre-diagnosis levels of salicylurate were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.72-1.61; Ptrend 0.81; comparing participants in the highest quintile with those in the lowest quintile of plasma salicylurate).
Conclusions: Regular aspirin or non-aspirin NSAID use was not associated with future risk of pancreatic cancer in participants from several large prospective cohort studies. A possible reduction in risk for pancreatic cancer among people with diabetes who regularly use aspirin should be further examined in preclinical and human studies.
Keywords: Chemoprevention; Inflammation; NHS; Salicyluric Acid.
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