Statins are associated with a reduced risk of gastric cancer: a population-based case-control study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec;106(12):2098-103. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.277. Epub 2011 Aug 16.


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 gastric 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 gastric cancer for the period between 2005 and 2008. The controls were matched to cases by age, sex, and index date. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by using multiple logistic regression.

Results: We examined 337 gastric cancer cases and 1,348 controls. We found that ever-use of any statin was associated with a significant decrease in gastric cancer risk (OR=0.68, 95% CI=0.49-0.95). Compared with no use of statins, the adjusted ORs were 0.90 (95% CI=0.60-1.36) for the group having been prescribed statins with cumulative defined daily doses (DDDs) <134.25 and 0.49 (95% CI=0.30-0.79) for the group with cumulative statin use of ≥134.25 DDDs. Also, there was a significant trend toward decreasing gastric cancer risk with increasing cumulative dose (χ(2) for linear trend=7.42, P=0.006).

Conclusions: The results of this study are the first to suggest that statins may reduce the risk of gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors