NMA: Nonprescription Medicines Academy

Aspirin Use May Reduce Melanoma Risk in Postmenopausal Women

April 17th, 2013

Data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study (OS) suggest that aspirin may have a chemopreventive effect against the development of melanoma.

The WHI OS enrolled 93,676 postmenopausal women 50 to 79 years of age between 1993 and 1998 at 40 clinical centers throughout the United States. The study was designed to evaluate new risk indicators and biomarkers for disease in postmenopausal women. For this analysis, use of aspirin and nonaspirin NSAIDs at study entry was assessed among 59,806 Caucasian women. Cox proportional hazards models were constructed after adjusting for participant skin type, sun exposure history, and medical indications for NSAID use (among other confounders).

A total of 548 incident melanomas were confirmed during a median follow-up of 12 years. Women who used aspirin had a 21% lower risk of melanoma (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63–0.98) relative to nonusers. Increased duration of aspirin use was associated with an 11% lower risk of melanoma for each categorical increase (<1 year, 1-4 years, and ≥5 years); women who used aspirin for at least 5 years had a 30% lower melanoma risk (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.55–0.94). The use of nonaspirin NSAIDs or acetaminophen was not associated with melanoma risk.

Cancer. 2013 Mar 11. [Epub ahead of print]