Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and small cell lung cancer risk in the VITAL study

Theodore M. Brasky, Christina S. Baik, Christopher G. Slatore, John D. Potter, Emily White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Few studies have examined the association between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and risk of small cell lung cancer (SCLC); among them, findings are mixed. Recently, we found that use of NSAIDs was differentially associated with lung cancer risk by histology. Here, we examine, more comprehensively, the association between individual NSAIDs and SCLC risk. 75,546 residents of western Washington State, ages 50-76, completed a baseline questionnaire in 2000-2002 and reported on their use of individual NSAIDs over the past 10 years. NSAID use was categorized as non-users, low (<4 days/week or <4 years), and high (≥4 days/week and ≥4 years). 111 SCLC were identified through linkage to a population-based cancer registry. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models including strong adjustment for smoking were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Compared to non-use, high use of regular-strength aspirin was associated with an elevated risk of SCLC (HR 1.78, 95% CI: 1.05-3.02; P-trend = 0.03). Findings for low-dose aspirin were elevated but did not reach statistical significance. Use of non-aspirin NSAIDs was not associated with SCLC risk. Our findings provide further indication of heterogeneity in the association between aspirin and lung cancer morphologies. Large, prospective studies with comprehensive assessments of NSAID use and smoking history and data on both men and women, are needed in order to better understand the association between use of aspirin and SCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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