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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Regular use of aspirin and pancreatic cancer risk

Ravi J Menezes1, Kenneth R Huber2, Martin C Mahoney1 and Kirsten B Moysich1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cancer Prevention, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Amherst, USA

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BMC Public Health 2002, 2:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-2-18

Published: 4 September 2002



Regular use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been consistently associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer and adenoma, and there is some evidence for a protective effect for other types of cancer. As experimental studies reveal a possible role for NSAIDs is reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer, epidemiological studies examining similar associations in human populations become more important.


In this hospital-based case-control study, 194 patients with pancreatic cancer were compared to 582 age and sex-matched patients with non-neoplastic conditions to examine the association between aspirin use and risk of pancreatic cancer. All participants received medical services at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY and completed a comprehensive epidemiologic questionnaire that included information on demographics, lifestyle factors and medical history as well as frequency and duration of aspirin use. Patients using at least one tablet per week for at least six months were classified as regular aspirin users. Unconditional logistic regression was used to compute crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Pancreatic cancer risk in aspirin users was not changed relative to non-users (adjusted OR = 1.00; 95% CI 0.72–1.39). No significant change in risk was found in relation to greater frequency or prolonged duration of use, in the total sample or in either gender.


These data suggest that regular aspirin use may not be associated with lower risk of pancreatic cancer.