Association between nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and the incidence of lung cancer in the Iowa Women's Health Study

Jennifer H. Hayes, Kristin E. Anderson, Aaron R. Folsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have suggested that use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with reduced risk of lung cancer, but the data are inconsistent and are limited particularly with respect to the effects of aspirin, separate from other NSAIDs. Methods: The Iowa Women's Health Study is a prospective cohort of 41,836 Iowa women ages 55 to 69 years old at baseline in 1986. NSAID use was assessed in 1992. Over 10 years of follow-up, 403 incident cases of lung cancer were identified. The association of incident lung cancer with current use of aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs was analyzed after adjustment for lung cancer risk factors. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using multivariate COX proportional hazards regression. Results: There were 27,162 women in the analytic cohort. After controlling for age, education, alcohol intake, pack-years, smoking status, body mass index, and total fruit intake, the RR of women taking six or more aspirin weekly was 1.21 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.59). The HR was 1.23 for women taking six or more non-aspirin NSAIDs weekly (95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.65). There was no statistically significant trend by frequency of use for either aspirin (Ptrend = 0.22) or non-aspirin NSAIDs (Ptrend = 0.53). Analyses by histologic type and smoking status yielded similar null results. Information on dosage and duration of use were not available for this analysis. Conclusion: These findings do not suggest that aspirin or other NSAIDs reduce risk of lung cancer in this cohort of postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2231
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


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