Longer-term Lipid-lowering Drug Use and Risk of Incident and Fatal Prostate Cancer in Black and White Men in the ARIC Study

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2018 Dec;11(12):779-788. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-17-0396. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


Lipid-lowering medications, particularly statins, may protect against aggressive prostate cancer. Fatal prostate cancer, the most clinically relevant outcome, remains understudied for this association. We prospectively studied lipid-lowering medication use and both incident and fatal prostate cancer in black and white men in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. A total of 6,518 men without cancer at visit 2 (1990-1992), the start of the statin era, were followed for prostate cancer incidence and death through 2012. Medication use was collected during study visits and telephone calls at up to nine time points during follow-up. Cox regression was used to estimate HR and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of total (white N = 541, black N = 259) and fatal (white N = 56, black N = 34) prostate cancer overall and by race. Lipid-lowering medication use was modeled as time-dependent current use or duration (never, <10, and ≥10 years). By visit 4 (1996-1998), 21% of white and 11% of black men had used a lipid-lowering medication, mostly statins. There was a suggestion that current users were less likely to die from prostate cancer than nonusers (HR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.42-1.07) after multivariable adjustment. We observed no statistically significant differences between black and white men. Current use was not associated with incident prostate cancer, although long-term use was statistically significantly inversely associated with incidence (HR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.50-0.92). Long-term lipid-lowering medication use was associated with lower risk of prostate cancer. Current use was possibly associated with fatal prostate cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors