The Blood Thinner Warfarin May Cut Cancer Risk
The anticoagulant warfarin may be linked to a lower risk of cancer in people over age 50, according to a large observational study conducted in Norway. This possible anti-cancer benefit of the drug is significant, as, in Western countries, it’s estimated that warfarin is prescribed for about 10 percent of adults.
For the study, researchers at the University of Bergen used data from the Norwegian national registry involving about 1.25 million people born between 1924 and 1954. They divided study participants into those taking warfarin from 2004 to 2012 (92,942 people) and those not taking the drug (more than 1.1 million people). Researchers then determined which of the study participants developed any new cancers or one of the most common types of cancer – cancer of the prostate, lung, breast, or colon – from 2006 to 2012.
The results, which were published in The JAMA Network Journals, suggest that people who take warfarin have a lower risk for any cancer compared to those who don’t take warfarin. Researchers emphasize that they didn’t find a cause-and-effect connection between warfarin and a lower rate of cancer.