New York Times (07/30/12) Bakalar, Nicholas
A study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has found that aspirin may reduce the chances of developing Barrett's esophagus, a disease that is a risk factor for developing esophageal cancer. According to the study, which was performed by researchers at Harvard University, patients who took aspirin had less than half the risk of developing Barrett's esophagus--a condition in which the tissue that lines the esophagus becomes more like the tissue that lines the intestines--than did those who did not take aspirin. In addition, researchers found that those who took 325 mg or more of aspirin per day were at a lower risk of developing Barrett's esophagus than those who took smaller amounts. Researchers attributed their findings to the fact that aspirin causes the body to produce smaller amounts of an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain, though they concede that the results may have been affected by unknown differences between the participants who took aspirin and the control group.