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Does aspirin use reduce the risk for cancer?
  1. Usman Iqbal1,2,
  2. Hsuan-Chia Yang2,3,
  3. Wen-Shan Jian2,4,
  4. Yun Yen5,6,
  5. Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li2,5,7
  1. 1Masters Program in Global Health and Development Department, College of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2International Center for Health Information Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3Institute of Biomedical Informatics, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4School of Health Care Administration, College of Management, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  5. 5College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  6. 6City of Hope, Duarte, California, USA
  7. 7Department of Dermatology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li, College of Medical Science and Technology (CoMST), Taipei Medical University, Department of Dermatology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; jack{at}


Recently, studies have reported that aspirin has chemopreventive properties. In this study, we used the Taiwan NHI database, which covers a population of 23 million (99.99%) Taiwanese from 2001 to 2011. This was a case–control study which identified 601,733 patients using ICD-9-CM codes who were diagnosed with cancer. Each case with 4 eligible controls was matched for age, sex, and index date and adjusted for confounding factors. The observed overall cancer risk (adjusted OR (AOR), 0.95; 95% CI 0.94 to 0.96) reduced with aspirin use, specifically, colorectal (AOR, 0.97; 95% CI 0.94 to 0.99) and digestive system (AOR, 0.96; 95% CI 0.94 to 0.98) cancers. Findings from the Asian population would contribute to the discussion on aspirin's safety profile.

  • Aspirin
  • Cancer
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Carcinogenesis

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  • Contributors Y-CL, UI, and H-CY designed the study, enrolled patients, interpreted data, wrote the report, and approved the final draft. UI, H-CY, and W-SJ designed the study, searched the published work, analyzed and interpreted data, reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final draft. Y-CL, W-SJ, and YY interpreted data, reviewed the report, and approved the final draft.

  • Funding This research is sponsored in part by Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) under grant MOST 104-2221-E-038–013, MOST 104–3011-E-038-001, Health and welfare surcharge of tobacco products grant MOHW105-TDU-B-212-134001, and Ministry of Education, Taiwan, under grant TMUTOP103006-6.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was not required as we used anonymous data.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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