Statins Could Reduce Death Rates In Most Common Cancers, Study Says

First Posted: Jul 11, 2016 06:20 AM EDT

A study shows that the use of statins can reduce the mortality rates and improve the survival in four most common cancers such as lung, breast, prostate and bowel cancers.

Statins are a class of drugs that can lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. They can also lower triglycerides and heighten the HDL cholesterol levels. These drugs can also stabilize plaques arteries thus preventing heart attacks by about 25 percent to 35 percent.

Dr. Paul Carter, from Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom said that they found an association between having high cholesterol and developing breast cancer. In animal studies, giving statins for high cholesterol can lessen the risk of breast cancer. They wanted to see if there was any outcome of high cholesterol on mortality amongst cancer patients.

The study involved 929, 552 patients. These include 5,481 had breast cancer, 7,997 had lung cancer, 4,570 had bowel cancer and 4,629 had prostate cancer. Their databases were taken from Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of Stay and Mortality (ACALM). This also includes data on co-existing conditions such as high cholesterol, according to Medical News Today.

The researchers discovered that patients with cancer were less likely to die if they had a high cholesterol diagnosis compares to those patients that did not. The diagnosis of high cholesterol implied a 22 percent lower risk of death in patients with lung cancer, 47 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, 43 percent lower risk of breast cancer and 30 percent lower risk in bowel cancer patients.

Dr. Rahul Potluri, a senior author and founder of the ACALM Study Unit explained that statins have some of the best mortality evidence amongst all cardiovascular medications. He further said that the use of statin in patients with a diagnosis of high cholesterol is possibly the main reason that this diagnosis seems to be protective against death in patients with lung, breast, prostate and bowel cancer.

Dr. Potluri concluded that although statins look to have a positive outcome until there is an affirmative result in a clinical trial, patients with cancer that are at high risk or have shown cardiovascular disease should only be prescribed statins as per current guidelines.


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