Analgesic Use and Ovarian Cancer Risk: An Analysis in the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium

Britton Trabert*, Elizabeth M. Poole, Emily White, Kala Visvanathan, Hans-Olov Adami, Garnet L. Anderson, Theodore M. Brasky, Louise A. Brinton, Renee T. Fortner, Mia Gaudet, Patricia Hartge, Judith Hoffman-Bolton, Michael Jones, James V. Lacey, Susanna C. Larsson, Gerardo G. Mackenzie, Leo J. Schouten, Dale P. Sandler, Katie O'Brien, Alpa V. PatelUlrike Peters, Anna Prizment, Kim Robien, V. Wendy Setiawan, Anthony Swerdlow, Piet A. van den Brandt, Elisabete Weiderpass, Lynne R. Wilkens, Alicja Wolk, Nicolas Wentzensen, Shelley S. Tworoger, Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium OC3

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background Aspirin use is associated with reduced risk of several cancers. A pooled analysis of 12 case-control studies showed a 10% decrease in ovarian cancer risk with regular aspirin use, which was stronger for daily and low-dose users. To prospectively investigate associations of analgesic use with ovarian cancer, we analyzed data from 13 studies in the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium (OC3).

Methods The current study included 758 829 women who at study enrollment self-reported analgesic use, among whom 3514 developed ovarian cancer. Using Cox regression, we assessed associations between frequent medication use and risk of ovarian cancer. Dose and duration were also evaluated. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results Women who used aspirin almost daily (6 days/wk) vs infrequent/nonuse experienced a 10% reduction in ovarian cancer risk (rate ratio [RR] = 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.82 to 1.00, P = .05). Frequent use (4 days/wk) of aspirin (RR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.88 to 1.03), nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; RR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.90 to 1.11), or acetaminophen (RR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.88 to 1.24) was not associated with risk. Daily acetaminophen use (RR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.65, P = .05) was associated with elevated ovarian cancer risk. Risk estimates for frequent, long-term (10+ years) use of aspirin (RR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.98 to 1.34) or nonaspirin NSAIDs (RR = 1.19, 95% CI = 0.84 to 1.68) were modestly elevated, although not statistically significantly so.

Conclusions This large, prospective analysis suggests that women who use aspirin daily have a slightly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer (approximate to 10% lower than infrequent/nonuse)similar to the risk reduction observed in case-control analyses. The observed potential elevated risks for 10+ years of frequent aspirin and NSAID use require further study but could be due to confounding by medical indications for use or variation in drug dosing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019



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