The results of a study published in the American Journal of Medicine suggest there is an association between aspirin use and a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"Analytic studies on aspirin or non-aspirin nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the risk of diabetes" outside of clinical trials are limited, write Dr. Yasuaki Hayashino, of the University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan, and colleagues.

To investigate, the researchers analyzed data from the Physician's Health Study, which includes 22,071 apparently healthy male physicians, and has accumulated 22 years of follow-up data.

The participants provide self reports of history of diabetes, aspirin use, and various lifestyle factors at study entry and in yearly follow-up questionnaires.

A total of 1719 cases of diabetes were reported during follow-up. The men who reported taking any aspirin were 14 percent less likely to develop diabetes, compared with those who did not take aspirin.

Non-aspirin NSAIDs were not associated with a decreased risk of developing diabetes.

"Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes may be added to the list of clinical benefits of aspirin," Hayashino and colleagues conclude. "Future studies are warranted to further investigate this association."