-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin use seems to be
associated with a decreased risk of liver cancer and death from
chronic liver disease, according to a large new study.
This new study included more than 300,000 people aged 50 to 71,
who reported their aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
(NSAID) use and were followed for 10 to 12 years. During that time,
more than 400 participants died from chronic liver disease and 250
were diagnosed with liver cancer.
Compared to people who didn't take NSAIDs, people who took
aspirin were 45 percent less likely to die from chronic liver
disease and 41 percent less likely to be diagnosed with liver
cancer. People who took non-aspirin NSAIDs were 26 percent less
likely to die from chronic liver disease but no less likely to be
diagnosed with liver cancer.
If these findings are confirmed, they could lead to new ways to
prevent chronic liver disease and liver cancer, concluded study
author Dr. Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe, of the division of cancer
epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute,
While the study found an association between aspirin use and
reduced risk for liver problems, it did not prove
The study was published Nov. 28 in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Previous research has linked chronic inflammation due to liver
disease to cellular processes that could promote cancer
development, while other research has suggested that aspirin and
other types of NSAIDs may help reduce the risk of some cancers, a
journal news release noted.
Although it is worthwhile to study the potential of new
prevention methods such as NSAID use, it also is necessary to focus
on improving established prevention practices and interventions,
Dr. Isra Levy and Dr. Carolyn Pim, both from the department of
epidemiology and community medicine at the University of Ottawa, in
Canada, noted in an accompanying journal editorial.
The known causes of chronic liver disease and liver cancer are
hepatitis B and C virus infections and alcohol use. A link with
obesity and diabetes also has been suggested.
Cheap, readily available interventions, such as a vaccine for
hepatitis B virus, already exist, but "effective strategies for
reduction of [hepatitis B] and [hepatitis C] are not always
available or fully applied," the editorialists wrote.
They also noted that alcohol abuse and obesity are complex
issues that require interventions at the individual and
The American Liver Foundation outlines
25 ways to love your liver.
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