Postmenopausal women who reported having used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 10 years at the time of enrollment in the Women's Health Initiative study had a lower risk for death from colorectal cancer compared with women who reported no use of these drugs at enrollment, according to data presented at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Oct. 22-25, 2011.
"Our results suggest that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is associated with lower colorectal cancer mortality among postmenopausal women who use these medications more consistently and for longer periods of time," said Anna E. Coghill, M.P.H., a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
She and her colleagues evaluated the association between aspirin and nonaspirin NSAID use and colorectal cancer mortality in 160,143 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) who did not report a history of colorectal cancer at baseline. The study population included women enrolled in the WHI clinical trials and women enrolled in the WHI observational study.
"The WHI study population represents a large and well-characterized cohort of postmenopausal women, and the medication data collected in this cohort made it possible for us to investigate multiple types, durations and strengths of NSAID use," Coghill said.
Researchers confirmed 2,119 cases of colorectal cancer through medical reports and verified 492 deaths due to colorectal cancer through a centralized medical record and death certificate review.