Cancer Causes & Control

, 22:1553 | Cite as

Regular aspirin use and breast cancer risk in US Black Women

  • Jaclyn L. F. Bosco
  • Julie R. Palmer
  • Deborah A. Boggs
  • Elizabeth E. Hatch
  • Lynn RosenbergEmail author
Original paper



Epidemiologic studies have yet to provide consistent evidence to support a protective effect of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) on the incidence of breast cancer.


We evaluated the relations of current use of aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs, and acetaminophen with breast cancer incidence in the Black Women’s Health Study.


Biennial follow-up of 59,000 study participants began in 1995. During 558,600 person-years of follow-up through 2007, 1,275 breast cancer cases were identified. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we estimated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations of current and former use of aspirin, other NSAIDs, and acetaminophen with incident breast cancer.


After adjustment for age, education, body mass index at age 18, physical activity, female hormone use, current smoking, and other NSAID use, the IRRs were 0.79 (95% CI = 0.66, 0.95) for current aspirin use and 0.68 (95% CI = 0.50, 0.92) for ≥5 years of aspirin use. Similar associations were observed for acetaminophen use.


Both aspirin and acetaminophen use were inversely associated with breast cancer incidence in the present study. Reasons for the association with acetaminophen use are unclear, given that acetaminophen has very weak anti-inflammatory effects.


Aspirin NSAIDs Breast cancer Incidence Epidemiology 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute grant R01 CA058420. Data on breast cancer pathology were obtained with institutional review board approval from several state cancer registries (AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NC, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA). The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Cancer Institute or the cancer registries. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the participants, investigators, and staff of the Black Women’s Health Study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaclyn L. F. Bosco
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julie R. Palmer
    • 3
  • Deborah A. Boggs
    • 3
  • Elizabeth E. Hatch
    • 2
  • Lynn Rosenberg
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Section of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston UniversityBostonUSA

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