Cumulative exposure to statins after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer was associated with lower overall mortality, a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer has shown.

For the study, researchers sought to determine whether there is an independent association between metformin, statins, and aspirin with overall mortality after colorectal cancer diagnosis among those taking glucose-lowering drugs.

Previous research has shown that an association exists without adjusting for one another.

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Researchers identified 1,043 patients who were prescribed glucose-lowering drugs before receiving a diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Of those, 64% used metformin, 61% used statins, and 47% used aspirin after cancer diagnosis.

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Results showed no independent association between cumulative exposure to metformin or aspirin and overall mortality; however, researchers observed a favorable effect of statin use, which increased with cumulative exposure (HR = 0.93; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.98).

The findings suggest that statins may be beneficial among patients with colorectal cancer taking glucose-lowering drugs for diabetes to improve survival.