(HealthDay News) — Regular aspirin use may lower the risk of bile duct cancer, according to a study published online April 26 in Hepatology.

The study included 2,395 bile duct cancer patients and a control group of 4,769 individuals without the cancer. About 25 percent of the bile duct cancer patients and 45 percent of those in the control group took aspirin.

The authors found that, overall, people who took aspirin were roughly three times less likely to develop bile duct cancer than those who did not take aspirin. The findings do not prove that aspirin caused the risk of bile duct cancer to drop. However, “chronic persistent inflammation is one of the key elements that promotes cancer of the bile ducts, and well-known risk factors for bile duct cancer have all been shown to increase the risk for bile duct cancer by inducing chronic inflammation of the ducts,” study coauthor Jonggi Choi, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., said in a journal news release.

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The findings suggest that further research on the potential for aspirin to prevent bile duct cancer is warranted, the study authors said.

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