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DDW: Regular Aspirin Use May Up Crohn's Disease Risk

Individuals taking aspirin regularly for one year or more may have much higher risk

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- People who take aspirin regularly for at least a year may have a substantially increased risk of developing Crohn's disease, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2010, held from May 1 to 5 in New Orleans.

Andrew Hart, M.D., and colleagues at the University of East Anglia's School of Medicine in Norwich, U.K., evaluated 203,193 subjects aged 30 to 74 who had been recruited for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study between 1993 and 1997.

After a median follow-up of 4.7 years, 62 participants developed Crohn's disease and 126 developed ulcerative colitis. The researchers found that regular intake of aspirin was linked to an increased risk of developing Crohn's (odds ratio [OR], 4.83). In nonsmokers who took aspirin, the risk was greater (OR, 5.92), but there was no effect in those who smoked and took aspirin (OR, 0.41). The researchers also found no link between aspirin intake and ulcerative colitis.

"Aspirin does have many beneficial effects, however, including helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. I would urge aspirin users to continue taking this medication since the risk of aspirin users possibly developing Crohn's disease remains very low -- only one in every 2000 users, and the link is not yet finally proved," Hart said in a statement.

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