Long-Term Aspirin Use May Reduce Liver Cancer Risk

Decrease seen with use of 1.5 or more standard-dose tablets per week for 5 or more years.
Decrease seen with use of 1.5 or more standard-dose tablets per week for 5 or more years.

HealthDay News — Regular long-term aspirin use is associated with a dose-dependent reduction in the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online October 4 in JAMA Oncology.

Tracey G. Simon, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the potential benefits of aspirin use for primary HCC prevention in 2 prospective, nationwide populations: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data were included for 133,371 health care professionals who reported on aspirin use, frequency, dosage, and duration of use. 

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The researchers documented 108 incident HCC cases over more than 26 years of follow-up encompassing 4,232,188 person-years. Regular aspirin use (two or more 325mg tablets per week) was correlated with reduced HCC risk compared with non-regular use (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.34 to 0.77). This benefit was dose-related (P for trend = 0.006). With increasing duration, there was significantly lower HCC risk (P=.03); the decrease was seen with use of 1.5 or more standard-dose tablets per week for five or more years (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.21 to 0.77). There was no significant association for use of non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with HCC risk (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.51).

"Further research appears to be needed to clarify whether aspirin use represents a feasible strategy for primary prevention against HCC," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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