Prostate Cancer Risk Lower in Long-Term Users of Lipid-Lowering Drugs

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In a study, taking lipid-lowering drugs for 10 or more years was associated with a 32% lower risk prostate cancer.
In a study, taking lipid-lowering drugs for 10 or more years was associated with a 32% lower risk prostate cancer.

Men who use lipid-lowering medication long term have a lower risk for prostate cancer (PCa) than nonusers, a new study suggests.

Alison M. Mondul, PhD, MSPH, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her colleagues prospectively examined 6518 black and white men without PCa at baseline in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study. Of these, 21% of white and 11% of black men received lipid-lowering medication, typically statins. During follow-up, PCa developed in 541 white and 259 black men, and 56 and 34, respectively, died.

Compared with men who never used lipid-lowering medications, those who used the drugs for 10 or more years had a significant 32% decreased risk for PCa in adjusted analyses. Current users of lipid-lowering drugs had a non-significant 33% decreased risk of dying from PCa than nonusers, according to results published in Cancer Prevention and Research. The investigators found no differences in outcomes between racial groups, possibly due to small sample sizes. Health care access and competing causes of death did not fully explain results, according to the investigators.

The findings generally corroborate previous studies on the subject. “Taken together, this literature provides strong evidence for a protective biologic mechanism of lower cholesterol on prostate cancer mortality,” Dr Mondul told Renal & Urology News. "The USPSTF recently issued new recommendation on the use of statin drugs for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, which if followed by clinicians, could increase the number of older men taking a statin and as a consequence provide a possible ancillary benefit of preventing prostate cancer incidence and mortality."

Dr Mondul and the team urged researchers to conduct larger studies to determine whether results vary by type of lipid-lowering medication or by specific statin drug.

Reference

Mondul AM, Joshu CE, Barber JR, et al. Longer-term lipid-lowering drug use and risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer in black and white Men in the ARIC study. Canc Prev Res.

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