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NSAIDs Reduce Risks for Gastric Cancer in Ulcer Patients

Protective effect especially strong when ulcer is associated with H. pylori infection

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with peptic ulcer disease who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are at reduced risk for the future development of gastric cancer, especially if the ulcer is associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, according to a study published online May 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Chun-Ying Wu, M.D., Ph.D., of Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues assembled data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database on 52,161 hospitalized patients with peptic ulcer disease. The researchers divided the patients into regular users of NSAIDs and nonusers.

Compared to the general population, the patients with peptic ulcers who never used NSAIDs had a higher risk of gastric cancer (standardized incidence ratio [SIR], 2.11), while those who had regularly used NSAIDs had a reduced risk (SIR, 0.79). Among the ulcer patients, regular NSAID use was independently associated with lower risk of gastric cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 0.79 for each incremental year), and among H. pylori-associated patients, regular NSAID use was associated with even lower risk of gastric cancer (HR, 0.52 for each incremental year). However, NSAID use did not appear to reduce risk for subjects with non-H. pylori-associated duodenal ulcer. In addition, among patients with H. pylori-infected gastric ulcers, 50 was the number needed to treat to prevent gastric cancer.

"Regular NSAID use may be a feasible way to prevent gastric cancer, at least in patients with gastric ulcers, and especially in H. pylori-infected subjects," the authors write.

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