Researchers say that they have now found out that long-term use of statins may decrease mortality rates and even the incidence of cancer.
The trial results of the longest follow-up of patients originally randomized to receive a statin or placebo show cardiovascular death was reduced by 17 percent and coronary mortality decreased by 24 percent in patients who took the drug simvastatin, also known as Zocor, for 10 years compared to those who took it for five years and those who took a placebo.
Initially, nearly 4,500 patients were randomly assigned to simvastatin therapy or a placebo. After three years, more than 80 percent of patients in both groups were using statins. The five-year follow-up showed statins lowered lipid fractions and cholesterol. It also reduced cardiovascular and coronary deaths by 36 percent and 43 percent, respectively.
Thus researchers say their findings suggest that 10-year statin use was associated with a decreased incidence of cancer, but the 12-percent reduction for long-term statin users was not statistically significant.