Use of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Lower Esophageal Sphincter-Relaxing Drugs and Risk of Esophageal and Gastric Cancers

Joan Fortuny, Christine C. Johnson, Kari Bohlke, Wong Ho Chow, Gene Hart, Gena Kucera, Urvi Mujumdar, Dennis Ownby, Karen Wells, Marianne Ulcickas Yood, Lawrence S. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: The incidence of esophageal and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma has increased in Western countries in recent decades for largely unknown reasons. We investigated whether use of LES-relaxing drugs was related to an increased risk of esophageal and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, and whether use of NSAIDs was related to a reduced risk of esophageal and gastric cancers. Methods: We examined these associations by using administrative databases in a case-control study in 2 integrated health care delivery systems. Cases were incident esophageal adenocarcinomas (n = 163) and squamous cell carcinomas (n = 114) and gastric cardia (n = 176) and non-cardia adenocarcinomas (n = 320), diagnosed between 1980-2002 in one health system and between 1993-2002 in the other. Matched controls (n = 3996) were selected. Complete prescription information was available for the study period. Results: Prescription of corticosteroids was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (odds ratio [OR], 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4-0.9), esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.6), and gastric non-cardia carcinoma (OR, 0.4, 95% CI, 0.3-0.6). Ever use of pharmacy-purchased aspirin was associated with 30%-60% decreased risks of the studied cancers. As a group, LES-relaxing drugs showed little evidence of association with increased risk of any esophageal or gastric cancer. Conclusions: Corticosteroid and aspirin use were associated with significantly decreased risks of esophageal and gastric cancer. LES-relaxing drugs as a group did not affect these risks, although we had limited power to assess individual drugs. The possibility that corticosteroids and aspirin might reduce esophageal cancer risk warrants further consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1159.e3
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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