Lung cancer patients who used statins in the year before being diagnosed with lung cancer had a 12% reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.78-1.02; P = .09), researchers reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Dr. Chris Cardwell of Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland) and his associates assembled a large, population-based cohort of lung cancer patients from the English Cancer Registry from 1998 to 2009, with follow-ups occurring until 2012. Included in the final analysis were 3,638 patients who used statins after lung cancer and 13,398 patients who used statins before lung cancer. Deaths occurring in the first year after diagnosis were excluded from the analysis for statin use after diagnosis.

Statin use before diagnosis was associated with reduced lung cancer–specific mortality (adjusted HR, 0.88; 95% I, 0.83-0.93; P < .001). Individuals with more than 12 statin prescriptions in the year before diagnosis experienced a 19% reduction in the rate of lung cancer–specific mortality (adjusted HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67-0.98; P = .03), compared with nonusers. In addition, lipophilic statins (adjusted HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.94; P = .01), particularly simvastatin (adjusted HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69-0.93; P = .003), appeared to have more protective associations than hydrophilic agents (adjusted HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.85-1.18; P = .01). There was some evidence that statin use after diagnosis was associated with reduced lung cancer–specific mortality as well (adjusted HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.78-1.02; P = .09), Dr. Cardwell and his associates reported.

Read the full article here: Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2015;24:833-41 (doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-005).

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