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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer neoplasms;
  • statins;
  • mortality;
  • cholesterol

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Statins are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in medical practice, and prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among men. Although there has been no consistent evidence that statins affect cancer incidence, including prostate cancer, several reports suggest they may decrease the rate of advanced prostate cancer. However, no study to date has specifically examined statin use and prostate cancer mortality. The authors conducted this population-based case-control investigation to examine this association.

METHODS:

This was a matched case-control study. Cases were residents of New Jersey ages 55 to 79 years who died from prostate cancer between 1997 and 2000. The cases were matched individually to population-based controls by 5-year age group and race. Medication data were obtained identically for cases and controls from blinded medical chart review. Conditional logistic regression was used to adjust for confounders.

RESULTS:

In total, 718 cases were identified, and cooperation was obtained from 77% of their spouses (N = 553). After a review of medical records, 387 men were eligible, and 380 were matched to a control. The unadjusted odds ratio was 0.49 (95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.70) and decreased to 0.37 (P < .0001) after adjusting for education, waist size, body mass index, comorbidities, and antihypertensive medication. There was little difference between lipophilic and hydrophilic statins, but more risk reduction was noted for high-potency statins (73%; P < .0001) compared with low-potency statins (31%; P = .32).

CONCLUSIONS:

Statin use was associated with substantial protection against prostate cancer death, adding to the epidemiologic evidence for an inhibitory effect on prostate cancer. Cancer 2012. © 2011 American Cancer Society.