Statin Use May Lower Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Risk of prostate cancer overall not impacted by statin use

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol-lowering statins may cut men's risk of advanced prostate cancer, but the drugs do not affect risk of prostate cancer overall, according to the results of a new study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Elizabeth A. Platz, Sc.D., M.P.H., of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from an ongoing study of 34,989 male health professionals whose statin use and cancer status was tracked from 1990 to 2002. In 1990, 4.4 percent of the cohort took statins and by 2000, this number increased to 23.8 percent. Statins did not appear to reduce risk of prostate cancer overall, but men who currently took statins had half the risk of advanced prostate cancer and less than half the risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer when compared with men who had never taken these drugs.

The reduced risk of advanced disease was even lower with longer use of statins, the report indicates. More statin users than non-users reported undergoing prostate-specific antigen screening, which may have been a source of bias in the analysis.

"It is premature to recommend the use of statins for the prevention of advanced prostate cancer," the study authors conclude.

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