Statin use and risk of prostate cancer: a Danish population-based case-control study, 1997-2010

Cancer Epidemiol. 2014 Feb;38(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Nov 22.


Purpose: Conflicting evidence has suggested that statins possess chemopreventive properties against prostate cancer (PCa). Therefore, we examined the association between statin use and risk of PCa in a Denmark-based case-control study.

Materials and methods: We identified 42,480 patients diagnosed with incident PCa during 1997-2010 from a national cancer registry. Five age-matched population controls (n=212,400) were selected for each case using risk-set sampling. Statin use from 1996 to the index date was obtained from the National Prescription Registry. Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for age, comorbidity, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, and educational level for PCa associated with statin use, were computed using conditional logistic regression. Analyses were stratified by duration of statin use (0-1, 2-4, 5-9, or ≥10 years), stage of PCa (localized or advanced), and type of statin used (lipophilic or hydrophilic).

Results: In total, 7915 patients (19%) and 39,384 controls (19%) redeemed statin prescriptions prior to the index date. Overall, statin users had a 6% lower risk of PCa compared with non-users [adjusted OR (ORa), 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.91-0.97]. Risk estimates did not differ substantially by duration or type of statin used. Slightly larger statin use-associated risk reductions were observed for advanced PCa (ORa, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85-0.96) and with statin use ≥10 years (ORa, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.65-0.95).

Conclusion: Statin use was associated with a risk reduction overall (6%) and, specifically with advanced PCa (10%). Differences in diagnostic measures and residual confounding by socioeconomic parameters may have influenced our results.

Keywords: Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors; Odds ratio; Pharmacoepidemiology; Prostate-specific antigen; Prostatic neoplasm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Registries
  • Risk
  • Time Factors


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors