Statin Therapy Does Not Up Cancer Risk in Older Adults

Propensity matching showed no significantly increased cancer risk linked to statin therapy

MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Statin therapy is not associated with a significant increase in cancer risk in older U.S. adults, according to a study published in the July 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Claudio Marelli, M.D., from S² Statistical Solutions Inc. in Cincinnati, and colleagues investigated whether cancer can be attributed to statin use in a population of older U.S. adults. Records for more than 11 million patients were extracted from the General Electric Centricity electronic medical records database from 1990 through 2009. Propensity matching was used to identify pairs of patients who shared similar propensities for statin use, and who were receiving and not receiving statin therapy. A total of 45,857 pairs were identified and followed up for an average of 4.7 years (those receiving statins) and 4.6 years (those not receiving statins).

The investigators found that, after matching, the incidence of cancer in patients taking and not taking a statin was found to be 11.37 and 11.11 percent, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.09). There was no difference seen in Kaplan-Meier curves for diagnosis of any cancer up to 10 years for patients taking and not taking a statin.

"This retrospective database analysis of a general population of 45,857 matched pairs of patients with an average of 4.6 years of follow-up after time zero revealed no statistically significant association of statins with cancer," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with health care, technology, and research institutes.

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