Use of hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors is associated with risk of lymphoid malignancies

Cancer Sci. 2006 Feb;97(2):133-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2006.00153.x.


It has been speculated that the use of hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) is associated with the risk of malignant diseases. Considering their immunosuppressive activities, malignant diseases that are associated with an immunosuppressive status seem feasible to examine the association. We therefore examined the association between statin use and development of lymphoid malignancies in a case-control study. Cases were 221 consecutive incident cases with histopathologically proven lymphoid malignancies (lymphoma and myeloma), hospitalized in the Department of Hematology of Toranomon Hospital (Tokyo, Japan) between 1995 and 2001. Two independent control groups, comprising 442 and 437 inpatients without malignancies from the Departments of Orthopedics and Otorhinolaryngology of the same hospital, were selected to test for consistency of association. Controls were matched individually with cases for age, sex and year of admission. Subject information, including statin use, was abstracted from medical records at the time of hospitalization. Strength of association was evaluated as an adjusted odds ratios (aOR) using a conditional logistic regression model. A higher frequency of statin use was found among patients with lymphoid malignancies in comparison with both orthopedic (aOR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20-3.69, P = 0.009) and otorhinolaryngology patients (aOR 2.59, 95% CI 1.45-4.65, P = 0.001), the significance being maintained when the two control groups were combined (aOR 2.24, 95% CI 1.37-3.66, P = 0.001). In conclusion, we observed an elevated risk of lymphoid malignancy with statin use among Japanese patients. Further evaluations in different populations are required to draw conclusions as to the carcinogenicity of lymphoid malignancies with statin use.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fluvastatin
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Indoles / therapeutic use
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Pravastatin / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use


  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Indoles
  • Fluvastatin
  • Simvastatin
  • Pravastatin