Statin use and the risk of liver cancer: a population-based case–control study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 May;106(5):894-8. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.475. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Objectives: Experimental studies have shown that statins have potential protective effects against cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of statins was associated with liver cancer risk.

Methods: We conducted a population-based case–control study in Taiwan. Data were retrospectively collected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Cases consisted of all patients who were aged ≥50 years and had a first-time diagnosis of liver cancer for the period between 2005 and 2008. Controls were pair matched to cases by age, sex, and index date. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs (95% confidence intervals) were estimated using multiple logistic regression.

Results: We examined 1,166 liver cancer cases and 1,166 controls. Compared with the group with no use of statins, the adjusted ORs were 0.62 (95% CI=0.42-0.91) for the group having been prescribed statins below 215.4 defined daily dose (DDD) and 0.63 (95% CI=0.37-1.06) for the group with cumulative statin use ≥215.4 DDD. The ORs for the group with cumulative statin use ≥215.4 DDD were not statistically significant, but this may be due to the relatively small number of subjects.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that statins may reduce the risk of liver cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors