Statins May Reduce Mortality Among Prostate Cancer Patients

Statins lower the risk of mortality among patients with prostate cancer, according to the findings of a recent study.

In their study, the researchers identified 31,790 patients with prostate adenocarcinoma from 1998 to 2011 using nationwide Danish registries. Data on tumor and patient characteristics, drug use, and primary treatment were analyzed.
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Post-diagnosis use was defined as 2 or more prescriptions of statins as a time-varying covariate with 1 year lag.

The researchers used hazard ratios (HR) to calculate prostate-cancer–specific mortality and all-cause mortality related to post-diagnosis statin use through 2013. Statin use was defined as a time-varying covariate with 1-year lag. Additional secondary analyses assessed statin use within 1 year or 5 years after prostate cancer diagnosis and evaluated the effect of statin use before diagnosis.

A total of 7365 patients had died of prostate cancer and 11,811 patients had died from other causes during the median 2.8 years of follow-up from 1 year after diagnosis.

Results of the primary analysis showed that statin use after diagnosis was associated with adjusted HRs of 0.83 for prostate cancer mortality and 0.81 for all-cause mortality. In 1-year and 5-year sensitivity analyses, the researchers found similar results regardless of dose or type of statin, clinical stage, Gleason score, or pre-diagnosis statin use. However, patients who were diagnosed early during the study period or who had underwent radical prostatectomy or endocrine therapy had slightly lower HRs for prostate cancer mortality if they had initiated statins after diagnosis compared with those in the overall analysis.

“Post-diagnosis statin use was associated with reduced mortality from prostate cancer,” the researchers concluded. “However, it remains to be established whether this association is causal.”

—Melissa Weiss


Larsen SB, Dehlendorff C, Skriver C, et al. Postdiagnosis statin use and mortality in danish patients with prostate cancer [published online before print August 14, 2017]. J Clin Oncol. doi:10.1200/JCO.2016.71.8981.