BJC Open article

British Journal of Cancer (2010) 102, 1415–1421. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605636 www.bjcancer.com
Published online 6 April 2010

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pancreatic cancer risk: a nested case–control study

M C Bradley1,2, C M Hughes2, M M Cantwell1, G Napolitano3 and L J Murray1

  1. 1Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast BT12 6BJ, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2Clinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK
  3. 3Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast BT12 6BJ, Northern Ireland, UK

Correspondence: Professor LJ Murray, E-mail: l.murray@qub.ac.uk

Received 25 January 2010; Revised 5 March 2010; Accepted 9 March 2010
Advance online publication 6 April 2010





Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use has been linked with pancreatic cancer risk; however, findings from epidemiological studies are inconsistent.



A nested case–control study was conducted within the UK General Practice Research Database. Cases (n=1141) had a diagnosis of primary cancer of the exocrine pancreas between January 1995 and June 2006. Controls (n=7954) were matched with each case on general practice site, sex and year of birth. Conditional logistic regression analyses were used to generate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with NSAID use compared with non-use.



Any use of NSAID in the 5 years before the index date or since entry into the database (excluding the year before diagnosis) was not associated with risk of pancreatic cancer; OR 0.96 (95% CI, 0.84–1.10) and 1.03 (95% CI 0.89–1.19), respectively. Exposure to NSAIDs for > 773 days, in the 5 years pre-diagnosis, was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer OR 0.78 (95%CI 0.62–0.97). There was evidence of reduced pancreatic cancer risk with long-term use (5 years or more) of lower doses of NSAIDs OR 0.70 (95% CI 0.49–0.99).



Long-term exposure to NSAIDs may be associated with a reduction in risk of pancreatic cancer.


NSAIDs; aspirin; pancreatic cancer; GPRD