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‘Long-term aspirin use can lower gastric cancer risks’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2018.06.21 14:01
  • Updated 2018.06.21 14:01
  • comments 0
Professor Park Sang-min

Researchers at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) have proved that long-term aspirin use can lower the incidence of gastric cancer in Koreans.

Aspirin inhibits the platelet enzyme (cyclooxygenase) and has the effect of restricting platelet coagulation. Hospitals use the drug as an antiplatelet agent in the high-risk cardiovascular group.

Recently, aspirin has been shown to have anticancer effects such as causing apoptosis in cancer cells as well as antiplatelet mechanism. Some studies have even reported that aspirin reduces the incidence of colon and gastric cancer.

Until now, however, there have been no studies to evaluate the gastric cancer prevention effect that consider various gastric cancer-inducing factors or cumulative usage of aspirin

The team, led by Professor Park Sang-min of the department of family medicine at the hospital, investigated the relationship between cumulative aspirin usage and the incidence of gastric cancer by using the National Health Insurance Big Data on 461,489 health examinations collected over a seven-year span (2007-2013). Professor Park took into account factors such as sexuality, age, income level, smoking status, alcohol consumption frequency, and exercise status in the cohort study.

As a result, the incidence of gastric cancer decreased as the period of aspirin accumulation increased. In detail, taking aspirin for one to two years reduced the chance of gastric cancer by 4 percent, 15 percent for two to three years, 21 percent for three to four years and 37 percent for four to five years.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun to recognize results validated in the Healthcare Big Data Study in the licensing of new drug applications in 2017,” Professor Park said. “This study suggests that the monitoring of pharmacovigilance can be transformed into active monitoring using the big data of the national insurance claims, which is a step forward from the existing passive side effect reporting system.”

The American Journal of Gastroenterology published the result of the study.


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