New research shows the same drugs you take to lower cholesterol may help protect against breast cancer.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh followed more than 7,500 women ages 65 years and older for more than seven years. Results of the study show more than 3 percent of women who did not use cholesterol-lowering drugs developed breast cancer, while 2.1 percent of women who used statin cholesterol-lowering drugs did, and 1.3 percent of women who used nonstatin drugs did. Overall, women who used a drug to lower cholesterol had a 68-percent reduced risk of breast cancer.
Researchers say this is the first study of its kind to examine the relationship between cholesterol-lowering medications and breast cancer. Jan Cauley, Dr.PH, from the University of Pittsburgh, says, "There is a significant difference in the percentage of breast cancer events between women who used lipid-lowering drugs and those who did not, and these findings have important public health implications given the widespread used of the medications today."
Authors of the study say more research is needed to confirm their findings. They write, "Our findings need confirmation by other, larger studies involving more women and randomized clinical trials before we can recommend therapeutic interventions to prevent breast cancer with these agents."