(HealthDay News) — Use of statins before or after colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis is linked to a lower risk for premature death, from either cancer or other causes, according to a review published online May 8 in Cancer Medicine.

Yue Li, Ph.D., from Zhejiang University Medical School in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to assess the overall and cancer-specific survival benefit of statin use in CRC patients.

The researchers identified 14 studies (130,994 patients) for inclusion. For the six studies evaluating prediagnosis statin use, the pooled hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause mortality (ACM) was 0.85, while the pooled HR of cancer-specific mortality (CSM) was 0.82. Among the 11 studies evaluating postdiagnosis statin use, the pooled HR of ACM was 0.86 and the pooled HR of CSM was 0.79. There was no difference in ACM for postdiagnosis statin use when stratified by KRAS mutation status.

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“Considering that statins are low-cost and [widely] used agents worldwide, we believe our updated meta-analysis can provide new insights into optimizing adjuvant treatment of CRC,” the authors write.

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