Statin use and risk of prostate cancer: Results from the Southern Community Cohort Study

Prostate. 2015 Sep;75(13):1384-93. doi: 10.1002/pros.23019. Epub 2015 May 27.


Background: Epidemiologic studies suggest that statin use may be inversely associated with risk of prostate cancer, but prior studies have focused predominantly on non-Hispanic white populations.

Methods: We evaluated the association between statin use and prostate cancer risk in the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS). Study participants were 32,091 men aged 40-79 at baseline, 67% of whom were non-Hispanic black. Between study enrollment (2002-2009) and December 31, 2010, 570 prostate cancer cases were diagnosed, including 324 low-grade cancers (Gleason score <7 or Gleason pattern 3 + 4) and 107 high-grade cancers (Gleason score >7 or Gleason pattern 4 + 3). Analyses of overall prostate cancer were conducted using Cox regression and analyses of grade-specific cancer were conducted using competing risks models.

Results: Ten percent of non-Hispanic black men and 22% of non-Hispanic white men reported use of statins at study enrollment. As compared to non-use, statin use was associated with a non-significant 14% lower risk of prostate cancer in multivariable models (Hazard Ratio [HR]:0.86; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.63-1.18). This association was stronger for high-grade cancer (HR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.30, 1.28) than low-grade cancer (HR:0.98; 95%CI: 0.65-1.48). Results were similar by race/ethnicity (p-interaction: 0.41) and did not vary by history of prostate-specific antigen [PSA] screening (p-interaction: 0.65).

Conclusions: Results suggest no strong association between statin use and prostate cancer risk overall, and further suggest that if a modest protective effect does exist, it does not vary by race/ethnicity and may be restricted to high-grade tumors, although power to detect differences by subgroup was limited.

Keywords: African Americans; chemoprevention; epidemiologic studies; prostate cancer; statins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Whites


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors