Statin use and thyroid cancer: a population-based case-control study

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Jul;83(1):111-6. doi: 10.1111/cen.12570. Epub 2014 Nov 3.


Objective: Several observational studies raised the possibility that the use of statins may decrease the overall risk of cancer and of specific cancers. This study aimed to evaluate the association of statin use with thyroid cancer based on a population-based data set.

Design: The data for this case-control study were sourced from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. We included 500 subjects with thyroid cancer as cases and 2500 gender- and age-matched subjects without thyroid cancer as controls. We used a conditional logistic regression to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and its corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) for having previously used statins between cases and controls.

Results: The OR of prior statin use for cases was 1.39 (95% CI = 1.08-1.78) compared to controls, and thyroid cancer was significantly associated with previous regular statin use (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.05-1.86). However, thyroid cancer was not significantly associated with previous irregular statin use (OR = 1.35; 95% CI = 0.88-2.07). Furthermore, the significant association between thyroid cancer and previous statin use only existed for females (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.07-1.90) but not for males (OR: 1.28; 95% CI: 0.75-2.17).

Conclusions: We concluded that statin use was associated with thyroid cancer in female patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors