Daily aspirin tied to decreased risk of cancer mortality

January 7, 2011

Daily aspirin taken for at least 5 years appears to greatly reduce mortality from gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers, according to research published online in The Lancet, HealthDay News reported.

Daily aspirin taken for at least 5 years appears to greatly reduce mortality from gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers, according to research published online in The Lancet, HealthDay News reported.

Peter M. Rothwell of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and colleagues studied the outcomes of 8 randomized trials, including 25,570 patients, of daily aspirin versus no aspirin for 4 or more years to determine the effect of daily aspirin on mortality from gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers.

Based on 674 cancer-related deaths, the researchers determined that allocation to daily aspirin reduced cancer-related mortality by 21%. This benefit was apparent only after 5 years’ follow-up, at which point there was a 54% reduction in death from gastrointestinal cancers and a 34% reduction in death from all cancers. Based on long-term follow-up of patients after the trials, including 1,634 cancer deaths, researchers determined that the 20-year risk of cancer death was 20% lower in groups previously allocated aspirin than in controls for all solid cancers and 35% lower for gastrointestinal cancers.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.