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Study Findings Suggest Reduced Cancer Risk with Statins

Increasing statin dose reduced risk of all cancers in study of veterans

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Statin usage is associated with a lower risk of cancer in veterans, with increasing dose reducing the risk of all cancers, researchers report in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Wildon R. Farwell, M.D., from Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues compared the incidence of cancer in 25,594 veterans taking anti-hypertensive but no cholesterol-lowering drugs, and 37,248 veterans taking statins.

After a median follow-up of five years, the researchers found that significantly fewer patients in the statin group developed cancer (9.4 versus 13.2 percent), after adjusting for age (hazard ratio 0.76) and multiple, potential confounding variables (hazard ratio 0.74). Increasing statin dose was also significantly associated with a lower risk of all cancers.

"Patients using statins may be at lower risk for developing cancer," Farwell and colleagues conclude. "Additional observational studies and randomized trials of statins for cancer prevention are warranted."

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