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Br J Cancer. 2016 Mar 1;114(5):571-5. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.10. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Long-term use of lithium and risk of colorectal adenocarcinoma: a nationwide case-control study.

Author information

1
Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5000 Odense, Denmark.
2
Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense, Denmark.
3
Department of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5000 Odense, Denmark.
4
Department of Pathology, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense, Denmark.
5
Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Danish Cancer Society, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lithium accumulates in the colon and inhibits the enzyme GSK-3β that possesses anti-carcinogenic effects. We therefore examined the association between lithium use and colorectal cancer risk in a nationwide study.

METHODS:

We used the Danish Cancer Registry to identify all patients diagnosed with incident colorectal adenocarcinoma during 2000-2012 (n=36 248). Using a matched case-control approach, we estimated the association between long-term use (⩾5 years) of lithium and risk of colorectal adenocarcinoma using conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Long-term use of lithium was similar among cases (0.22%) and controls (0.20%), yielding an odds ratio of 1.13 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.89-1.43) for colorectal adenocarcinoma. Dose-response, subgroup and other subanalyses returned neutral associations. However, ORs differed for colorectal subsites (proximal colon: 1.01 (95% CI, 0.66-1.55; distal colon: 1.52 (95% CI, 1.05-2.20); and rectum: 0.80 (95% CI, 0.50-1.30).

CONCLUSIONS:

Lithium use was not associated with an overall increased risk of colorectal adenocarcinoma. The variation by subsite warrants further investigation.

PMID:
26867160
PMCID:
PMC4782204
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1038/bjc.2016.10
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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