1. Rosenberg, Karen
  2. Mechcatie, Elizabeth MA, BSN


According to this study:


* Regular use of low-dose aspirin is associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer.


* Long-term, high-quantity use of nonaspirin analgesics may increase ovarian cancer risk.



Article Content

Findings regarding the role of antiinflammatory medications in the development of ovarian cancer have been mixed. Case-control studies have shown that people who take aspirin-particularly in low doses-have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. The researchers used data from two large cohort studies: the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II). These trials were completed in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and data were collected biennially on the frequency and quantity of participants' use of regular (325 mg) and low-dose (100 mg or less) aspirin. Participants were also asked about their use of acetaminophen and nonaspirin nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


Among the 205,498 NHS and NHS II participants in the researchers' prospective analysis, there were 1,054 cases of ovarian cancer. No significant associations were found between ovarian cancer risk and total current aspirin use, years of aspirin use, or number of aspirin tablets per week. Current use of low-dose aspirin, however, was associated with a 23% lower risk of ovarian cancer compared with nonuse; no such association was found for standard-dose aspirin. Current use of nonaspirin NSAIDs was associated with a 19% higher risk of ovarian cancer compared with nonuse, a finding that may reflect unmeasured confounding factors. Significant associations were also found for 10 or more years' duration and greater cumulative average number of tablets per week of nonaspirin NSAIDs. Regular use of acetaminophen wasn't associated with ovarian cancer risk.


The authors add that following recommendations for initiating low-dose aspirin use in adults at risk for cardiovascular disease isn't likely to increase the risk of ovarian cancer.-KR




Barnard ME, et al. JAMA Oncol 2018 Oct 4 [Epub ahead of print].