Exposure to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and weight loss and hospitalization in non-small cell lung cancer patients

Laxmi H Iyer, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Cancer cachexia is a common syndrome complex in cancer, occurring in nearly 80% of patients with advanced cancer and responsible for at least 20% of all cancer deaths. Cachexia is due to increased resting energy expenditure, increased production of inflammatory mediators, and changes in lipid and protein metabolism. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), by virtue of their anti-inflammatory properties, are possibly protective against cancer-related cachexia. Since cachexia is also associated with increased hospitalizations, this outcome may also show improvement with NSAID exposure. Design. In this retrospective study, computerized records from 700 non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) were reviewed, and 487 (69.57%) were included in the final analyses. Exclusion criteria were severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, significant peripheral edema, class III or IV congestive heart failure, liver failure, other reasons for weight loss, or use of research or anabolic medications. Information on medication history, body weight and hospitalizations was collected from one year pre-diagnosis until three years post-diagnosis. Exposure to NSAIDs was defined if a patient had a history of being treated with NSAIDs for at least 50% of any given year in the observation period. We used t-test and chi-square tests for statistical analyses. Results. Neither the proportion of patients with cachexia (p=0.27) nor the number of hospitalizations (p=0.74) differed among those with a history of NSAID use (n=92) and those without (n=395). Conclusions. In this study, NSAID exposure was not significantly associated with weight loss or hospital admissions in patients with NSCLC. Further studies may be needed to confirm these observations.

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Recommended Citation

Iyer, Laxmi H, "Exposure to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and weight loss and hospitalization in non-small cell lung cancer patients" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1518776.