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AACR: Statins Not Found to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

In postmenopausal women, drugs not linked to lower colorectal cancer risk or clinical features

MONDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, the use of statins doesn't reduce colorectal cancer risk, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held from Nov. 7 to 10 in Philadelphia.

Michael S. Simon, M.D., of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, and colleagues analyzed data from 159,219 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 in the Women's Health Initiative. Two thousand cases of colorectal cancer were noted over an average of 10.7 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that 7.6 percent of women were using statins. Statin users had a 0.13 percent annualized rate of colorectal cancer compared to 0.12 percent in nonusers (adjusted hazard ratio for statin users, 0.99). No trends in risk of the disease by duration of statin use were seen. Nor was statin use associated with tumor location or clinical features. Type of statin use, statin potency, and use of other lipid-lowering drugs also were not related to colorectal cancer risk.

"A recent study suggested a possible greater effect of statins in reducing both cardiovascular and colorectal cancer risk among individuals with a genetic variation of the enzyme inhibited by statins. This finding suggests that future studies should focus on individuals at high risk based on family history or genetic predisposition," Simon said in a statement.

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