Low-dose aspirin use and survival in colorectal cancer: results from a population-based cohort study

Ronan T. Gray, Helen G. Coleman, Carmel Hughes, Liam J. Murray, Chris R. Cardwell

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Aspirin has been proposed as a novel adjuvant agent in colorectal cancer (CRC). Six observational studies have reported CRC-specific survival outcomes in patients using aspirin after CRC diagnosis but the results from these studies have been conflicting. Using a population-based cohort design this study aimed to assess if low-dose aspirin use after diagnosis reduced CRC-specific mortality.

A cohort of 8,391 patients with Dukes’ A-C CRC (2009-2012) was identified from the Scottish Cancer Registry and linked to national prescribing and death records. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CRC-specific mortality were calculated using time-dependent Cox regression.

There were 1,064 CRC-specific deaths after a median follow-up of 3.6 years. Post-diagnostic low-dose aspirin use was not associated with a reduction in CRC-specific mortality either before or after adjustment for confounders (adjusted HR=1.17, 95% CI 1.00-1.36). In sensitivity analysis pre-diagnostic low-dose aspirin was also not associated with reduced CRC-specific mortality (adjusted HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.88-1.05).

Low-dose aspirin use, either before or after diagnosis, did not prolong survival in this population-based CRC cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Article number228
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2018


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