Several studies suggest that statins prevent some cancers, with 1 study finding a 47% reduction in colorectal cancer risk after 5 years of regular use.
Dr Yana Vinogradova and colleagues from the United Kingdom conducted a nested case-control study within 454 general practices in the United Kingdom using the QRESEARCH database.
Cases with colorectal cancer were diagnosed between 1995 and 2005.
The team estimated the effects of statins, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, and aspirin on colorectal cancer using conditional logistic regression.
|For any NSAID prescription, the adjusted odds ratio was 0.94|
The investigative team adjusted for morbidity, smoking status, body mass index, and socioeconomic status.
The team analyzed 5686 cases, and 24,982 matched controls with 4 years of records.
The adjusted odds ratio for colorectal cancer associated with any statin prescription was 0.93, with no trend in duration of use or number of prescriptions.
The team found that for any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug prescription the adjusted odds ratio was 0.94.
With 25 prescriptions, there was a significant decrease in risk with increasing number of prescriptions and an adjusted odds ratio of 0.76.
The team found that the prolonged use of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors was minimal, but for those receiving 25 prescriptions the adjusted odds ratio was 0.34.
Results were similar in the subset of participants with 8 years of records.
The investigators noted that the adjusted odds ratio for 61 months of statin prescriptions was 1.00.
Dr Vinogradova's team concluded, "In this large population-based case-control study, prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor was associated with a reduced colorectal cancer risk, but prolonged statin use was not."