Long-term use of statins is unlikely to substantially increase or decrease overall cancer risk, new research has indicated.
Eric J. Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, and colleagues examined the association between use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, predominantly statins, and the incidence of the 10 most common cancers, as well as overall cancer incidence.
Participants completed several questionnaires that included information about a range of lifestyle and medical factors, including use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, and were followed over a period of about 10 years, according to Jacobs.
During this time frame, more than 15,000 participants were diagnosed with cancer.
Using cholesterol-lowering drugs for five years or longer was not associated with overall cancer incidence, or incidence of bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, prostate, or renal cell cancer, but was associated with lower risk of melanoma, endometrial cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The study was presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Nov. 7-10, 2010, in Philadelphia.