Use of statins after a diagnosis of prostate cancer was associated with a decreased mortality risk, and the effect was stronger in men who used statins before their diagnosis, a study found.
Researchers drew the conclusion after looking at a cohort of nearly 12,000 men in the UK identified from four large databases as having newly diagnosed, nonmetastatic prostate cancer from April 1 1998 to December 2009, and who were followed until October 2012.
Results appeared Nov. 4 as a rapid release manuscript in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
During a mean follow-up of more than 4 years, there were nearly 3,500 deaths, including 1,800 from prostate cancer. Postdiagnostic use of statins was associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer mortality (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.88) and all-cause mortality (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.95).
Patients who also used statins before diagnosis saw decreased risks of prostate cancer mortality (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.74) and all-cause mortality (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.81), with weaker effects in patients who started statins only after diagnosis (prostate cancer mortality: HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.96; and all-cause mortality: HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.01.)
Use of statins showed a more protective effect with longer durations of use and higher cumulative doses (≥36 months of use: HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.75; and ≥1,096 defined daily dose: HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.72). When broken down by the class of statin, there was a 23% decreased risk with lipophilic statins and a 35% decreased risk with hydrophilic statins.
Researchers wrote, “[A]lthough the results of this study provide evidence that the use of statins may be associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer mortality, additional well-conducted observational studies are needed to confirm these findings before launching randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of statins in the adjuvant setting.”