Can daily aspirin cut ovarian cancer risk?


A daily regimen of low-dose (


A daily regimen of low-dose (<100 mg) aspirin may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 20%, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed pool data from 12 population-based case-control studies of ovarian cancer from 1993 and 2007, which included 7,776 case patients and 11,843 control patients. Odds ratios (ORs) for the association between medication use and invasive epithelial ovarian cancer were estimated for each study using logistic regression and combined using random effects meta-analysis. Frequency, dose, and duration of aspirin use and ovarian cancer risk associations were also reviewed.

Aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer (OR = 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84 to 0.99). Non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a similar, but not statistically significant, result and no association was found with acetaminophen. In the 7 studies with frequency of dose data, the strongest reduced risk was seen in women who had a daily regimen (OR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.96). In the 3 studies with dose information, low-dose aspirin was strongly associated with reduced risk (OR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.83), whereas high-dose (≥500mg) NSAIDs had the strongest association with reduced risk (OR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.64 to 0.91).


The investigators concluded that low-dose, daily aspirin could reduce risk of ovarian cancer by 20% to 34%. They noted, however, that further study is required to explore the risk-benefit balance and to understand the mechanism by which aspirin may reduce ovarian cancer risk.

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