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The association between NSAID use and colorectal cancer mortality: results from the women's health initiative.

  • Author(s): Coghill, Anna E;
  • Phipps, Amanda I;
  • Bavry, Anthony A;
  • Wactawski-Wende, Jean;
  • Lane, Dorothy S;
  • LaCroix, Andrea;
  • Newcomb, Polly A
  • et al.

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Randomized trial evidence shows that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, particularly long-term use, reduces the incidence of colorectal neoplasia. Recent data also suggests an inverse association between NSAID use and death due to colorectal cancer (CRC).


We examined the association between NSAID use and CRC mortality among 160,143 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative. Women provided details on medication use at baseline and three years after enrollment. Reported CRC cases were locally confirmed and centrally adjudicated; cause of death was determined according to centralized medical record and death certificate review. Cox regression was used to investigate the association between NSAID use and CRC mortality.


Overall, NSAID use at baseline was not associated with CRC mortality [HR: 0.93; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.76, 1.14]. However, women who reported NSAID use at both baseline and year 3 experienced reductions in CRC mortality (HR: 0.72; 95% CI 0.54, 0.95) compared with nonusers.


Results suggest that NSAID use is associated with lower CRC mortality among postmenopausal women who use these medications more consistently over time. impact: Our results support prolonged NSAID use in postmenopausal women for the prevention of poor CRC outcomes.

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