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Aspirin Lowers Risk of Colorectal Adenomas

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Thursday, February 12, 2009

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin lowers the risk of colorectal adenomas, and the lower risk is maintained if patients frequently take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) post-treatment, according to two studies published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In the first study, Bernard F. Cole, Ph.D., from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and colleagues performed a review of the literature and identified four randomized placebo-controlled trials involving 2,967 patients evaluating aspirin for the secondary prevention of colorectal adenomas. A meta-analysis showed that after a median follow-up of 33 months, adenomas were found in fewer patients in the aspirin group (33 versus 37 percent, pooled risk ratio 0.83, absolute risk reduction 6.7 percent). Fewer patients in the aspirin group had advanced lesions (9 versus 12 percent, pooled risk ratio 0.72), the researchers report.

In the second study, Maria V. Grau, M.D., from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and colleagues analyzed data on colorectal adenomas from 1,121 patients who had been randomly assigned to treatment with placebo or aspirin (81 or 325 mg/day) for three years. Use of NSAIDs post-treatment was monitored. Using data from the 850 patients who had a colonoscopy post-treatment, they found that patients taking low-dose aspirin had a marginally lower risk of adenomas (adjusted relative risk, 0.84). This lower risk persisted post-treatment only among patients who were frequent (at least four days a week) NSAID users (adjusted relative risk 0.62 compared with placebo sporadic NSAID users).

"Long-term and frequent use of NSAIDs may enhance the chemopreventive effect of aspirin against colorectal neoplasia," Grau and colleagues conclude.

The first study was supported by a research grant by Bayer. Authors of both studies report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract - Cole
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Abstract - Grau
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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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