Statin Use and Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness: Results from the Population-Based North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Apr;25(4):670-7. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0631. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Background: Although statin use has been associated with reduced prostate cancer aggressiveness, the impact of race and patient characteristics on this association is not well understood. We examined the association between statin use and prostate cancer aggressiveness in Caucasians (CA) and African Americans (AA) and explored effect modification by health-seeking behaviors associated with statin use.

Methods: Of 1,930 cases from The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project, 344 (18%) were classified as aggressive based on clinical criteria. Utilizing nonaggressive cases as referent, logistic regression was used to examine the association between statin use and prostate cancer aggressiveness, overall and stratified by race. Smoking and prostate cancer screening were examined as effect modifiers of this association.

Results: There was an inverse association between statin use and prostate cancer aggressiveness [OR, 0.74; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.56-0.96], with comparable effect estimates in both races. Although not statistically significant, statin use was associated with reduced ORs for aggressive prostate cancer in never-screened men (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.45-1.39), men screened at low/recommended frequency (≤once/year; OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.41-1.06), and men screened at high frequency (>once/year; OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.53-1.15). Inverse associations between statins and aggressive prostate cancer were strongest in never smokers (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.25-0.72), attenuated in former smokers (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.59-1.19), and absent in current smokers (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.70-2.64).

Conclusions: Statin use was associated with reduced prostate cancer aggressiveness in CA and AAs, with strongest inverse associations in nonsmokers.

Impact: Health-seeking behaviors associated with statin use should be considered when examining the impact of statins on prostate cancer aggressiveness. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(4); 670-7. ©2016 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors