Ibuprofen Could Reduce Smokers’ Risk of Lung Cancer

Ibuprofen Could Reduce Smokers’ Risk of Lung CancerIbuprofen Could Reduce Smokers’ Risk of Lung Cancer

Ibuprofen is a medication commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation, but a new study suggests that the drug may also reduce the risk of death from lung cancer among former and current smokers.

Study co-author Dr. Marisa Bittoni, of The Ohio State University, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria.

Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, associated with around 80-90% of lung cancer cases in the US, reported.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who smoke are 15-30 times more likely to develop lung cancer or die from the disease than nonsmokers.

Previous studies have shown that chronic inflammation is associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Since ibuprofen is a medication that reduces inflammation, Bittoni and colleagues set out to investigate whether the drug might benefit people with a history of smoking.

To reach their findings, the team analyzed the data of 10,735 adults who were part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), enrolled between 1988 and 1994. Subjects’ smoking status, use of ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and information on other lifestyle factors were gathered.

Participants were followed-up for an average of 18 years, and researchers pinpointed their cause-specific mortality status using data from the National Death Index up until 2006.

During follow-up, 269 of the participants died from lung cancer, of whom 252 had a history of smoking.

Because the vast majority of lung cancer cases were among past or current smokers, the team also calculated the effects of NSAIDs in a further sample of 5,882 adults with a history of smoking. Overall, the team found that former or current smokers who regularly used ibuprofen were 48% less likely to die from lung cancer than those who did not use the drug.

Quitting smoking and adopting a healthy lifestyle remain the best ways to lower lung cancer risk. However, Bittoni and colleagues believe their findings suggest regular ibuprofen use might be valuable.

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