Statin use may provide protection against CRC

September 4, 2012

Statins may have a protective effect against the development of colorectal cancer, according to results from a retrospective case-control study published in BMC Gastroenterology.

Statins may have a protective effect against the development of colorectal cancer, according to results from a retrospective case-control study published in BMC Gastroenterology

Ian LP Beales, of the Gastroenterology Department, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, U.K., and colleagues, conducted a study of patients under the care of his institution to determine any potential protective effects of statins by comparing statin use in patients with colorectal cancer (n=101) against a control group (n= 132) of patients who received their first diagnostic colonscopy from September 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010. The controls did not have either colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps.

“There was a highly significant inverse association between previous statin use of at least 6 months duration and a diagnosis of CRC,” the authors wrote. “The protective effect of statins was great with increased time of exposure, [<2 years: OR=0.66 (0.21-1.69), P=0.47], [2-5 years: OR=0.38 (0.14-1.01), P=0.05], [>5 years: OR=0.18 (0.06-0.55), P<0.01].”

In addition, higher statin dosage (≥40 mg/day) was associated with a greater protective effect compared to a lower statin dosage (<40 mg/day), according to the case-control study.

“These data support a causal relationship between statin exposure and reduced risk of colorectal neoplasia. These results are consistent with previous studies and a meta-analysis suggesting a protective effect,” the authors noted.

However, the authors recommend more observational studies to examine the effects of statins be undertaken and that these studies should also examine interactions with other agents as well as population or cancer variables that could influence statin response. These observational studies should be done prior to an interventional study, they said.


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