Inflammation reducing ibuprofen associated with lower risks of death from lung cancer.

Ibuprofen Reduces Risk Of Death From Lung Cancer Among Former And Current Smokers, Researchers Say

Ibuprofen is known to reduce pain, fevers, and inflammation, but might also have a startling new application as well. Study findings presented at the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria indicated that regular use of ibuprofen might also reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer. This possible benefit appears to apply to both former smokers and current smokers. The researchers involved in the study suggested that regular ibuprofen use might actually lower the risk of lung cancer death.

Dr. Marisa Bittoni, from Ohio State University, and fellow researchers analyzed data of 10,735 adults who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). The idea that ibuprofen use might reduce risks associated with smoking wasn’t chosen out of the blue. Earlier studies had associated inflammation with an increased risk of lung cancer. Might the regular use of an anti-inflammatory medication have an effect? Bittoni and fellow researchers set out to investigate just that.

The team looked at the subject’s use of ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), their smoking status, and other lifestyle factors. The participants followed up for an average of almost two decades while participating in the NHANES III. The researchers examined their cause-specific mortality status by using information from the National Death Index up until 2006. Using Cox proportional hazards regression models (which models the number of new cases of disease per population at-risk per unit time, according to a Penn State tutorial), the team estimated how NSAID use might be associated with the risk of dying from lung cancer.

Ibuprofen use associated with lower risk of death from lung cancer.
Lung cancer, pictured here, might be associated with inflammation. Could ibuprofen help reduce risks of death? [Image by Tewan Banditrukkanka/Shutterstock]

The vast majority of lung cancer cases were among people who currently or previously smoked, so the team also calculated what effects NSAIDs might have had on another sample of 5,882 adults who had a history of smoking. The team discovered that former and current smokers who used ibuprofen regularly were actually 48 percent less likely to die from lung cancer than those who did not use ibuprofen regularly. Medical News Today reported that there was no statistically significant association between the risk of death from lung cancer and the use of aspirin, though.

Ibuprofen reduces inflammation which is associated with lung cancer deaths.
Regular ibuprofen use is associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among current smokers and ex-smokers. [Image by Alexander Heimann/Getty Images]

The conference where the study results were presented took place from December 4 through December 7, 2016. At the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer, smoking was obviously a focus, but tobacco control was also spotlighted. Dr. Zarihah Zain from Lincoln University College Malaysia discussed examining global trade agreements in order to make sure that tobacco products are treated appropriately. Zain pointed to nine specific clauses in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that require tobacco to be treated just like any other product when it comes to reducing tariffs.

“Tobacco is not like any legal commodity, it is highly addictive, causes deaths, precipitates serious debilitating morbidity, and accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer incidence. An industry such as the tobacco industry should not be given any privileges and should not be allowed to benefit from trade agreements to gain hefty profits at the expense of public health,” Dr. Zain said, according to a press briefing about the lung cancer conference.

Earlier this year, the Inquisitr reported on a link between refined carbohydrates and lung cancer. Reportedly, researchers out of the University of Texas discovered an association in which study participants with high glycemic index were up to 92 percent more likely to develop lung cancer. Interestingly, according to a Harvard Health Publications‘ article, refined carbohydrates like white bread, french fries, and soda increases levels of inflammatory messengers called cytokines.

Inflammation has been a hot topic in 2016, and it seems that inflammation and its link to lung cancer deaths might be a little more clear thanks to the ibuprofen research presented at the WCLC this month.

[Featured Image by vdimage/Shutterstock]