Statin use and prostate cancer risk in a large population-based setting

Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Sep;19(7):767-74. doi: 10.1007/s10552-008-9139-4. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


Background: Statins are a commonly used cholesterol-lowering drug, which also have the potential to affect cancer risk and progression. Results from previous studies offer mixed conclusions.

Methods: To evaluate the relation between statin use and prostate cancer risk, we conducted a retrospective cohort study during 1 January 1990 to 31 August 2005 among men 45-79 years receiving care within Group Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system. Information on statin use and covariates were obtained from health plan databases. We identified incident prostate cancer cases through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for prostate cancer among statin users compared to non-users.

Results: Among 83,372 men studied, median follow-up time was 5.7 years and 2,532 prostate cancer cases were identified. About 14.4% used statins over the study period and median duration of use was 3.3 years. Compared to non-users, hydrophobic statin users had a reduced risk of prostate cancer (HR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66-0.94), and results are suggestive of a reduced risk among ever users of statins (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.76-1.02) and hydrophilic statin users (HR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.33-1.34). There was no trend in risk by duration of statin use, and no association between statin use and cancer aggressiveness, stage, or grade.

Conclusion: Overall, this study does not support an associated between statin use and prostate cancer but a reduced risk cannot be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors