(HealthDay News) – For men and women aged 50–71, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, is associated with a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and death due to chronic liver disease (CLD), according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Vikrant V. Sahasrabuddhe, MBBS, DrPH, from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, MD, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 300,504 men and women aged 50–71 years to examine the effect of NSAID use on the risk of HCC and death due to CLD.

The researchers found that, compared with nonusers, aspirin users had a significantly lower risk of HCC incidence (rate ratio [RR], 0.59) and mortality due to CLD (RR, 0.55). Compared with nonusers, users of non-aspirin NSAIDs had a reduced risk of CLD mortality (RR, 0.74), but no reduction in the incidence of HCC (RR, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 0.84–1.39). The significance of these estimates did not vary based on frequency of aspirin use. The reduction in the risk of CLD mortality was only significant for monthly users of non-aspirin NSAIDs versus nonusers.

“These associations are prominent with the use of aspirin, and if confirmed, might open new vistas for chemoprevention of HCC and CLD,” the authors write.

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