| Updated at: 1552 PST, Friday, September 17, 2010|
EDINBURGH: Researchers in Scotland say very low-dose aspirin, taken regularly, may ward off bowel cancer.
The researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland say the crucial finding is that high doses of aspirin, taken for a long time, are not needed to help ward off bowel cancer. This finding held true irrespective of lifestyle choices, age, diet, weight and poverty.
"This is the first study to demonstrate a protective effect against colorectal cancer associated with the lowest dose of aspirin -- 75 mg per day -- after only 5 years use in the general population," corresponding author Malcolm G. Dunlop and colleagues say in a statement.
The study finds after a year, taking low-dose aspirin regularly was associated with a 22 percent reduced risk of developing bowel cancer and the magnitude of the reduction was cumulative, rising to 30 percent after five years.
The researchers looked at 2,279 cases of people diagnosed with colon cancer and 2,907 healthy controls matched on age, sex and locality. All were asked to complete food-frequency and lifestyle questionnaires.
The subjects were categorized by their use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- taking more than four tablets a month of 75 mg aspirin, taking other anti-inflammatory drugs or taking a mix.