Association of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with lung cancer: Results from a large cohort study

Christopher G. Slatore, David H. Au, Alyson J. Littman, Jessie A. Satia, Emily White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality. Smoking cessation is crucial to decrease risk, but additional prevention modalities are needed. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may be promising. Methods: The study was a prospective cohort of 77,125 men and women, ages 50 to 76 years, from Washington state recruited in 2000 to 2002 (the VITamin And Lifestyle study). Lung cancer cases were identified through the Seattle-Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry during 5 years of follow-up. Hazard ratios (HR) associated with 10-year average use of total NSAIDs (excluding low-dose aspirin) and specific categories of NSAIDs were calculated for total incident lung cancer and specific morphologies. Results: A total of 665 lung cancer cases were identified. After adjusting for smoking, age, gender, and acetaminophen use, there was a borderline-significant inverse trend with total NSAID use [>4.2 d/wk for >10 years versus none: HR, 0.82; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.64-1.04; P for trend = 0.05]. The association was strongest for adenocarcinoma (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.37-0.94; P for trend = 0.01) and seemed to be limited to men (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47-0.92; P for trend = 0.01) and to long-term (≥10 years) former smokers (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.96; P for trend = 0.04). There were no appreciable differences by NSAID type. Conclusions: Total NSAID use was associated with a small reduced risk of lung cancer, which was strongest for adenocarcinoma, men, and long-term former smokers. These findings are supported by known lung carcinogenesis mechanisms and suggest that NSAIDS may be useful for chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1207
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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