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Using NSAIDs may cut risk of pancreatic cancer

By Lilian Anekwe

Prescribing NSAIDs could reduce a patient's risk of pancreatic cancer, a UK study suggests.

A nested case-control study by a team of epidemiologists in Belfast using data from the General Practice Research Database found prolonged exposure to NSAIDs reduced the relative risk of pancreatic cancer by 22% compared to non-use.

1,141 patients in the database had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer between January 1995 and June 2006 and were matched to 7,954 controls.

Any use of NSAIDs in the five years prior to diagnosis did not have an effect on the risk of pancreatic cancer. But exposure to NSAIDs for more than 773 days in the five years prior to diagnosis was associated with a 22% lower risk of pancreatic cancer compared to non-users. There was evidence of reduced pancreatic cancer risk with exposure to lower doses of NSAIDs for five years or longer, which reduced the risk by 30% compared with non-users.

Study lead Miss Marie Bradley, a PhD student in cancer epidemiology and prevention at Queen's University Belfast concluded: ‘Long-term exposure to NSAIDs may be associated with a reduction in risk of pancreatic cancer.'

Br J Cancer published online 6 April 2010

Using NSAIDs may cut risk of pancreatic cancer

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