Statins May Reduce the Risk of Hepatocellar Carcinoma

Statin use is associated with a 43% lower risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to new study results presented at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course.

Research has shown conflicting results on the association between statin use and HCC risk.

To evaluate this and to provide a quality consensus of the available evidence on the impact of statin use on HCC risk, Muhammad Talal Sarmini, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and colleagues performed a comprehensive search of the PubMed, PubMed Central, Embase, and ScienceDirect databases from inception of each database through May 2019.

The researchers identified all studies that evaluated the association between statin use and new HCC development. Studies that had an odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) or that presented data sufficient to calculate the OR with a 95% CI were included in the final analysis.

The researchers evaluated 20 studies—3 randomized controlled trials, 7 cohort studies, and 11 case-control studies—with a total of 2,668,497 patients. Of these patients, the researchers identified 24,341 cases of HCC.

Patients who had received treatment with statins had a significant risk reduction for HCC compared with patients who had not received treatment with statins. The researchers found no publication bias.

“Our results indicate that statin use was associated with 43% lower risk of HCC compared to those who did not use statin,” Sarmini concluded. “Further prospective randomized research is needed to confirm this association.”

—Melinda Stevens


Sarmini MT. Statin use reduces the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: an updated meta-analysis and systematic review [abstract 6]. Presented at: ACG 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course; October 25-30, 2019; San Antonio, TX.