WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Regular long-term aspirin use is associated with a dose-dependent reduction in the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online Oct. 4 in JAMA Oncology.

Tracey G. Simon, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the potential benefits of aspirin use for primary HCC prevention in two prospective, nationwide populations: the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data were included for 133,371 health care professionals who reported on aspirin use, frequency, dosage, and duration of use.

The researchers documented 108 incident HCC cases over more than 26 years of follow-up encompassing 4,232,188 person-years. Regular aspirin use (two or more 325-mg tablets per week) was correlated with reduced HCC risk compared with non-regular use (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.51; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.34 to 0.77). This benefit was dose-related (P for trend = 0.006). With increasing duration, there was significantly lower HCC risk (P for trend = 0.03); the decrease was seen with use of 1.5 or more standard-dose tablets per week for five or more years (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.41; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.21 to 0.77). There was no significant association for use of non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with HCC risk (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.51).

“Further research appears to be needed to clarify whether aspirin use represents a feasible strategy for primary prevention against HCC,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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