Aspirin protects against Barrett's esophagus

Aspirin use appears to reduce the risk of Barrett's esophagus (BE), the largest known risk factor for esophageal cancer, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

"The protective effect of aspirin use appears robust because the analyses suggests a dose-response relationship in which high-dose aspirin was significantly associated with decreased Barrett's esophagus risk," said Chin Hur, MD, MPH, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment and lead author of this study. "It would not be advisable at this time for patients to start taking aspirin, particularly at higher doses, if preventing Barrett's esophagus is the only goal. However, if additional data confirms our findings and an individual at high risk for development of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer also could derive additional benefits, most notably cardiovascular, aspirin could be a consideration."

Dr. Hur and his team of researchers analyzed characteristics of 434 BE patients for factors that might be used in screening and management. In addition to finding that those taking aspirin were 44 percent less likely to have BE, they also found that men were more than three times more likely to develop BE than women.

The incidence of esophageal cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate during the past few decades; current attempts at targeted screening for this type of cancer focus on identifying BE. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (), particularly aspirin, have been associated with reduced esophageal . Although there have been many studies analyzing NSAID and aspirin for esophageal cancer or BE progression to this cancer, few have explored NSAIDs for BE prevention.

More information: Read AGA's medical position statement on the management of BE.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aspirin may lower the risk of pancreatic cancer

Apr 04, 2011

The use of aspirin at least once per month is associated with a significant decrease in pancreatic cancer risk, according to results of a large case-control study presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held here ...

Even low-dose aspirin may increase risk of GI bleeding

Sep 12, 2011

The risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding needs to be considered when determining the potential preventive benefits associated with low-dose aspirin for cardiovascular disease and cancer. According to a new study in Clinical Ga ...

Recommended for you

All-clear for nonlinear optical imaging

3 hours ago

High power femto-second laser pulses used for in vivo nonlinear optical imaging can form DNA products, which may lead to carcinogenesis. A modified cancer risk model now shows that the cancer risk is negligible ...

Pain and itch may be signs of skin cancer

19 hours ago

Asking patients if a suspicious skin lesion is painful or itchy may help doctors decide whether the spot is likely to be cancerous, according to a new study headed by Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology ...

User comments