Background: Several observational studies have shown that statins may modify the risk of gastric cancer (GC). We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies evaluating the effect of statins on GC risk.
Patients and methods: We conducted a systematic search of multiple databases up to December 2012. Studies that evaluated exposure to statins, reported GC outcomes and odds ratio (OR) or provided data for their estimation were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled OR estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the random-effects model.
Results: Eleven studies (eight observational, three post-hoc analyses of 26 clinical trials) reporting 5581 cases of GC were included. Meta-analysis showed a significant 32% reduction in GC risk with statin use (adjusted OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.51-0.91). After exclusion of one study which was contributing to considerable heterogeneity, a significant 16% reduction in GC risk was a more conservative, consistent estimate (adjusted OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.78-0.90). This chemopreventive association was present in both Asian (adjusted OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.53-0.87) and Western population (adjusted OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.79-0.93).
Conclusions: Meta-analysis of studies supports a protective association between statin use and GC risk, in both Asian and Western population, in a dose-dependent manner.
Keywords: cancer risk; chemoprevention; gastric cancer; statins.