An aspirin a day may help keep bowel disease at bay
A LOW daily dose of aspirin could ward off bowel cancer, a study by Scottish researchers suggests.
Even people not at high risk of the disease could benefit from the painkiller, with the positive effects mounting up over time, the Edinburgh University study found.
The team, writing in the journal Gut, studied almost 2,800 people with bowel cancer and nearly 3,000 healthy people.
Their intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, was taken into account.
Overall, 16 per cent of people with bowel cancer were taking a low dose of aspirin compared with 18 per cent of those in the healthy group.
The results showed taking a low dose, 75mg, of aspirin every day for between one and three years led to a 19 per cent reduction in risk.
For people taking the drug daily for three to five years, there was a 24 per cent reduced risk, rising to 31 per cent for those taking the drug for five to ten years.
Doubling the dose did not lead to any extra benefit, suggesting "the lowest dose of aspirin is effective," and benefits were apparent even at one year.
The use of other NSAIDs was also linked to a lower risk of bowel cancer, but no NSAID increased survival in patients who already had bowel cancer.
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