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Br J Cancer. 2003 Jun 2;88(11):1687-92.

Risk of cancer in a large cohort of nonaspirin NSAID users: a population-based study.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University and Aalborg Hospital, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, Building 260, Denmark.


There is increasing evidence of an inverse association between use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and risk of colorectal cancer. However, data regarding other cancer sites are limited. Using data from the population-based North Jutland Prescription Database and the Danish Cancer Registry, we compared cancer incidence among 172 057 individuals prescribed nonaspirin NSAIDs with expected incidence (based on county-specific cancer rates) during a 9-year study period. A total of 6081 incident cancer cases were diagnosed among NSAID users vs 5722 expected (standardised incidence ratio (SIR) 1.1, 95% confidence interval (CI)1.0-1.1). The SIRs for colon and rectal cancer among persons who obtained 10 or more prescriptions were 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.9) and 0.6 (95% CI 0.4-0.9), respectively. Similarly, reduced risk estimates were found for stomach (SIR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1) and ovarian cancer (SIR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.0). Standardised incidence ratios for other cancers among those with 10 or more prescriptions tended to be close to 1.0, except for lung, kidney, and prostate cancers with SIRs of 1.3 (95% CI 1.1-1.6), 1.4 (95% CI 0.9-2.1), and 1.6 (95% CI 1.3-2.0), respectively. We found protective associations of NSAIDs against colon, rectal, stomach, and ovarian cancer. Reasons for the increased risk for some cancer sites are not clear.

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