Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Lipid-Lowering Medication and Risk of Prostate Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

According to study findings published in Cancer Prevention Research, the current use of lipid-lowering medication was not associated with incident prostate cancer. Alison M. Mondul, PhD, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues observed the current and long-term use of lipid-lowering medication, mostly statins, as part of the prospective European Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. In addition, they did not note any statistically significant differences between black and white men.

“Although further work is needed before we can recommend that men take statins specifically for prostate cancer prevention, if clinicians follow the new [U.S. Preventive Services Task Force] recommendations issued in 2016 for use of statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease, more men are likely to be using a statin,” Dr. Mondul told JNCCN 360. “In addition to improving cardiovascular health, this statin use may also provide an extra benefit of preventing prostate cancer incidence and mortality.”

The researchers focused on 6,518 men without prostate cancer registered from 1990 to 1992—the start of the statin era—and followed patients for prostate cancer incidence and death through 2012. They evaluated patients based on race, cancer incidence (541 white men and 259 black men), and fatalities (56 white men and 34 black men). By 1996 to 1998, 21% of white patients and 11% of black patients had used lipid-lowering medication, mostly statins. 

No statistical difference between black and white men was observed. Long-term use of lipid-lowering agents was statistically significantly inversely associated with incidence (hazard ratio of 0.68) and was associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer. Current use was associated with fatal prostate cancer.

“Further work will need to be conducted to evaluate the full impact of the lower prevalence of statin use in black versus white men on prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the U.S. population as whole,” the investigators concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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