Background: Statins affect the proliferation, survival, and migration of cancer cells, and it is thought that they may have chemopreventive properties in humans. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the association between statin use and various types of cancer in our hospital-based case-control surveillance study.
Methods: Data were collected from patients ages 40-79 years who were admitted to participating hospitals in 3 centers in Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore from 1991 to 2005. Nurses administered questionnaires to obtain information on medication use and other factors. We compared patients who had any of 10 types of cancer (a total of 4913 patients) with controls admitted for noncancer diagnoses (3900 patients). The following cancers were examined individually: female breast (n = 1185), prostate (n = 1226), colorectal (n = 734), lung (n = 464), bladder (n = 240), leukemia (n = 254), pancreas (n = 220), kidney (n = 226), endometrial (n = 220), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 144). Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals among regular statin users compared with never-users.
Results: Odds ratios were compatible with 1.0 for all cancer types. For the 4 largest cancer sites (breast, prostate, colorectum, and lung), odds ratios did not vary significantly by duration of statin use.
Conclusions: Statins are among the most commonly used medications, and durations of use are increasing. The present data do not support either positive or negative associations between statin use and the occurrence of 10 cancer types. Cancer incidence should continue to be monitored among statin users.