WASHINGTON, D.C.—Statin use may decrease the occurrence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men, but not women, according to a study.

The finding, presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting, emerged from a population-based epidemiologic cohort study of Boston-area residents aged 30-79 at baseline (2002-2005 [T1]). The researchers, led by John B. McKinlay, PhD, of New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Mass., analyzed follow-up data collected from 2006-2010 (T2).

Of 2,162 subjects in the analysis who had evidence of indications for statins, 591 were statin users at T1; only 90 users at T1 were not users at T2. Fifty-two percent of subjects were never users at both time points. After adjusting for age at follow-up and race/ethnicity men currently using statins had a significant 1.65 times increased likelihood of having clinically-relevant AUA symptom score improvement at T2 compared with non-users.

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Further adjustment for other covariates did not attenuate these results. The investigators observed no significant association between statin use and urologic symptom improvement in women. Finally, an association with AUA symptom score progression was also investigated among current statin users, but no associations with progression were observed for either men or women.

The findings suggest that any protective effect of statins likely involves the prostate or other male-specific pathways, Dr. McKinlay’s group concluded.

The researchers defined a clinically-relevant improvement AUA symptom score as at least a three-point decrement from baseline to follow-up and progression as at least a three-point increase.