THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Regular use of aspirin is associated with a reduced risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) among those with initiation of aspirin before age 70 years, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in JAMA Oncology.

Chuan Guo-Guo, M.Med., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between aspirin use and risk for incident CRC among older adults in a pooled analysis conducted using the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data were included for 94,540 participants aged 70 years or older.

The researchers identified 1,431 incident cases of CRC during 996,463 person-years of follow-up. Compared with nonregular use, regular use of aspirin was associated with a significantly reduced risk for CRC at or after age 70 years after adjustment for other risk factors (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.72 to 0.90). The inverse association was only seen among aspirin users who initiated use before age 70 years (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 0.95), while risk was not reduced with initiation of aspirin at or after age 70 years (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.76 to 1.11).

“These findings suggest that initiation of aspirin use at an older age for the sole purpose of primary prevention of CRC should be discouraged,” the authors write. “However, our findings appear to support recommendations to continue aspirin use if initiated at a younger age.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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