Do NSAIDs, Statins Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk?

The study included 522 cases and 653 controls, interviewed on their NSAID and statin use history
The study included 522 cases and 653 controls, interviewed on their NSAID and statin use history

Data from a study published in Cancer Causes & Control does not support the hypothesis that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or statins lower the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Previous studies have produced conflicting findings as to whether aspirin, other NSAIDs, and statins reduced the likelihood of pancreatic cancer. Researchers from Australia and Yale University obtained data from the population-based case-control Queensland Pancreatic Cancer Study. A total of 704 cases and 711 age- and sex-matched controls were recruited. 

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Study patients were interviewed on their history of NSAID and statin use. A total of 522 cases and 653 controls who completed the medication section of the interview were included for the analysis. The associations between medication use and pancreatic cancer were calculated via unconditional multivariable logistic regression.

The authors found no consistent protective effect of any of the NSAIDs evaluated. They found some suggestion that the use of any NSAID >4 times per week correlated to an increased risk but after adjusting for confounders, the odds ratio decreased and was deemed nonsignificant. 

The findings do not support the hypothesis that the use of aspirin or other NSAIDs lowers pancreatic cancer risk, the authors concluded. In addition, "statins and paracetamol use was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk, either overall or in stratified analyses."  

Overall, the analysis showed no inverse association between the use of NSAIDs or statins and the risk of pancreatic cancer. A protective association was seen with infrequent use of selective COX-2 inhibitors "but no consistent trend" was noted.

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