-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- There's no evidence that
popular cholesterol-lowering statins cause cancer, says a review
that challenges earlier research raising concerns that the drugs
may be associated with an increase in cancer and cancer-related
The findings should reassure the millions of people worldwide
who take the drugs, said the researchers at the University of
Oxford in the U.K. and the University of Sydney in Australia.
They examined data from 170,000 people who took part in 26
randomized and controlled clinical trials. Of those participants,
more than 10,000 developed cancer and more than 3,500 died from
cancer. The analysis showed that the cancer death rates were the
same in people taking statins and in those who took a placebo.
The analysis also found that no difference in cancer risk
between a higher statin dose and a standard dose.
The study was presented recently at the European Society of
Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Stockholm.
"Statin therapy had no adverse effect on cancer at any site [in the body] or in any group of individuals, irrespective of their cholesterol levels. There was also no association of cancer with statin dose or duration," noted Dr. Jonathon Emberson, senior statistician at the University of Oxford.
The researchers found there was no evidence that statins were
linked to particular types of cancer, such as breast cancer, or to
particular groups of people, as earlier studies had suggested.
"These findings are extremely reassuring for patients," co-principal investigator Professor Rory Collins, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said in an ESC news release. "Statins are one of the most effective known therapies for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes, and this study should reassure the millions of people who are taking them worldwide."
The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council, the
British Heart Foundation and the National Health and Medical
Research Council (Australia), and involved collaborators from
around the globe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
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