Statin use and survival in 16 098 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia treated in the rituximab era

Br J Haematol. 2021 Nov;195(4):552-560. doi: 10.1111/bjh.17733. Epub 2021 Jul 31.


Statin use has been associated with reduced mortality from several cancers but also suggested, in vitro, to diminish the effectiveness of lymphoma treatments including rituximab. The present study aimed to assess the association of statin use with mortality in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). We identified all incident NHLs and CLLs in Sweden from 2007 to 2013 with subtype information in the Swedish Lymphoma and Cancer Registers. Using Cox regression, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of pre- or post-diagnosis statin use (yes/no, intensity) with lymphoma-specific, cardiovascular, or all-cause mortality; and for follicular lymphoma (FL) by initial treatment strategy (active/watch-and-wait). Among 16 098 incident NHL/CLL patients, 20% used statins at diagnosis. Pre- and post-diagnosis statin use, and statin intensity were not consistently associated with any mortality outcome in patients with NHL, overall or for any subtype. For actively treated patients with FL, statin use did not appear to increase lymphoma-specific mortality (vs. non-users, HR [95% CI]after diagnosis 0·87 [0·45-1·67]). For CLL, statin use was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular but not consistently with lymphoma-specific mortality. In conclusion, statin use was not associated with improved lymphoma survival but appears safe to use during lymphoma treatment.

Keywords: lymphoma; prognosis; statins; survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cause of Death
  • Comorbidity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Rituximab