Statins are commonly used cholesterol-lowering agents that are noted to suppress tumor cell growth in several in vitro and animal models.
Dr Vikas Khurana and colleagues studied the association between pancreatic cancer and statins in veterans.
The investigators conduted a retrospective, nested case-control study using data from the Veterans Integrated Service Networks from 1998 to 2004.
The investigative team analyzed data on 483,733 patients from 8 states located in south central United States.
The primary variables of interest were pancreatic cancer, and the use of statins before the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
|Long-term statin use showed a 67% risk reduction|
The team undertook multiple logistic regression analysis to adjust for covariates including age, sex, body mass index, smoking, diabetes, and race.
Of the patients included in the study, 34% were on statins, and less than 1% had a primary diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The investigators found that statin use of more than 6 months was associated with a risk reduction of pancreatic cancer of 67%.
A dose-response relationship was noted between statin use and pancreatic cancer with an 80% risk reduction with statin use of more than 4 years.
The team observed he protective effect of statin across different age and racial groups.
The investigators found that the protective effect of statin use was irrespective of the presence of diabetes, smoking, or alcohol use.
Dr Khurana's team comments, “Statins seem to be protective against the development of pancreatic cancer.”
“The magnitude of the effect correlates with the duration of statin use.”