Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 29, Issue 4–5, pp 417–425 | Cite as

Pre-diagnostic aspirin use and mortality after breast cancer

  • Tengteng Wang
  • Humberto Parada
  • Kathleen M. McClain
  • Patrick T. Bradshaw
  • Mary Beth Terry
  • Susan L. Teitelbaum
  • Alfred I. Neugut
  • Marilie D. Gammon
Original paper



Whether aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammation drug (NSAID) use is associated with mortality following breast cancer remains unclear. Consideration of use patterns and interaction with obesity may help to clarify the inconsistent results.


Pre-diagnosis NSAID use, weight, and height were assessed ~ 3 months after diagnosis through in-person interviews with a population-based cohort of 1,442 women with first primary breast cancer. Vital status was determined through the national death index after ~ 18 years of follow-up (N = 237/597 breast cancer-specific/all-cause deaths). We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Multiplicative interaction by body mass index (BMI) was evaluated using the likelihood ratio test.


Ever aspirin use was inversely associated with breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.59–1.29), but positively associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.21, 95% CI 0.99–1.48); the CIs included the null values. The HRs, however, were more pronounced for the highest level of duration, frequency, regularity, and timing for all-cause, but not breast cancer-specific mortality. Interactions with BMI revealed no significant heterogeneity (pinteraction = 0.37 and pinteraction = 0.36, respectively).


Pre-diagnosis aspirin use was not strongly associated with mortality following breast cancer. The all-cause mortality associations, however, were slightly stronger when we considered patterns of use.


Breast cancer Mortality Aspirin NSAIDs Obesity Body mass index 



The study was supported in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (UO1CA/ES66572, U01CA66572).

Supplementary material

10552_2018_1020_MOESM1_ESM.docx (360 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 359 KB)
10552_2018_1020_MOESM2_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 17 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tengteng Wang
    • 1
    • 6
  • Humberto Parada
    • 1
  • Kathleen M. McClain
    • 1
  • Patrick T. Bradshaw
    • 2
  • Mary Beth Terry
    • 3
  • Susan L. Teitelbaum
    • 4
  • Alfred I. Neugut
    • 3
    • 5
  • Marilie D. Gammon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Preventive MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of EpidemiologyUNCChapel HillUSA

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