Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Using aspirin three times per week may reduce risk for death among those with certain types of cancer, a new study has found -- supporting the findings of previous research on aspirin use.
In research published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers report that seniors with prostate, lung, colorectal or ovarian cancer who used aspirin three or more times per week were 15 percent less likely to die from their disease than those who didn't use it at all.
And those with GI and colorectal cancers benefited the most from aspirin use, lowering their risk for death by more than 25 percent.
"We found a significant association of aspirin use with reduced all-cause, any cancer, GI cancer, and colorectal cancer mortality among individuals 65 years and older," the authors, researchers from the National Center Institute, wrote in the study.
The study is not the first to highlight the potential benefits of aspirin therapy in cancer.
An analysis of more than 100 studies published by The Lancet in 2012 concluded that "regular use of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of several cancers and the risk of distant metastasis."
Another paper, published in the Annals of Oncology in 2015, noted that while "the effects of aspirin on cancer are not apparent until at least three years after the start of use," individuals aged 50 to 65 years taking aspirin for 10 years saw a relative reduction of between 7 percent (women) and 9 percent (men) in the number of cancer and other health events over a 15-year period.
The new study included data collected on nearly 150,000 participants age 65 and older in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, with researchers monitoring their health for median period of more than 12 years.
In addition to the overall reduced risk for death, the authors found the benefits of aspirin in reducing risk of cancer death were particularly positive for those who maintained a lower body weight, based on body mass index, or BMI.
Participants with a BMI of less than 20 who used aspirin three or more times per week, for example, reduced their risk for death from cancer by 62 percent, compared to those with the same BMI who didn't use it at all.
Based on these findings, the authors say that "future studies should further examine the association of BMI with the efficacy of aspirin as a cancer preventive agent to adapt to the changing global obesity trends."