Statin use and mortality among ovarian cancer patients: A population-based cohort study

Int J Cancer. 2017 Jul 15;141(2):279-286. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30738. Epub 2017 May 8.


Statin use has been suggested to improve prognosis in cancer patients, however, for ovarian cancer, the evidence is sparse. From the Danish Cancer Registry, we identified patients aged 30-84 years with a histologically verified first diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer between 2000 and 2013. Data on filled prescriptions, death, and potential confounding factors were obtained from nationwide registers. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between post-diagnostic statin use and all-cause or ovarian cancer-specific mortality. Among 4,419 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, post-diagnostic statin use was not statistically significantly associated with all-cause (HR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.78-1.04) or ovarian cancer-specific mortality (HR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.76-1.08). There was little evidence of a dose-response relationship and the neutral associations persisted in sensitivity analyses. In women with endometrioid or clear cell tumour histology, cancer-specific mortality was reduced by 30-40% among statin users compared to non-users, however the analyses were limited by small numbers. Significantly reduced mortality with statin use was observed in subcohorts of new users of statins and of patients not using low-dose aspirin. In conclusion, we found no strong evidence of an association between post-diagnostic statin use and reduced mortality in ovarian cancer patients. However, our finding of potential differential susceptibility to statins among patients with different histologic types of ovarian cancer warrants further evaluation.

Keywords: Ovarian neoplasms; mortality; pharmacoepidemiology; prognosis; statins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Survival Analysis


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors