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Risk of lower gastrointestinal bleeding and colorectal neoplasms following initiation of low-dose aspirin: a Danish population-based cohort study

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Objective Aspirin may increase the risk of lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) from precursors of colorectal cancer (CRC). We investigated whether use of low-dose aspirin, through initiation of LGIB, may lead patients to undergo colonoscopy and polypectomy before manifest CRC.

Design We conducted a historical cohort study (2005–2013) of all Danish residents who initiated low-dose aspirin treatment (n=412 202) in a setting without screening for CRC. Each new aspirin user was matched with three non-users (n=1 236 560) by age, sex and region of residence on the date of their matched new user’s first-time aspirin prescription (index date). We computed absolute risks (ARs), risk differences and relative risks (RRs) of LGIB, lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, colorectal polyps and CRC, comparing aspirin users with non-users.

Results The ARs were higher for new users than non-users for LGIB, lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, colorectal polyps and CRC within 3 months after index. Comparing new users with non-users, the RRs were 2.79 (95% CI 2.40 to 3.24) for LGIB, 1.73 (95% CI 1.63 to 1.84) for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, 1.56 (95% CI 1.42 to 1.72) for colorectal polyps and 1.73 (95% CI 1.51 to 1.98) for CRC. The RRs remained elevated for more than 12 months after the index date, with the exception of CRC where the RRs were slightly decreased during the 3–5 years (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.98) and more than 5 years (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.00) following the index date.

Conclusion These findings indicate that aspirin may contribute to reduce CRC risk by causing premalignant polyps to bleed, thereby expediting colonoscopy and polypectomy before CRC development.
TidsskriftBMJ open gastroenterology
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2020

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