Treatment with the lipid-lowering therapy ezetimibe/simvastatin is not associated with an increased risk of developing cancer or an increased risk of dying from cancer, according to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Anders Green, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues conducted a registry-based follow-up study over 21 months from the conclusion of the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) trial in order to assess new incident cancer and total mortality.

The researchers found that among 1,359 subjects eligible for follow-up (73 percent of the original total cohort), 1,194 had no history of cancer (primary follow-up cohort). In this primary follow-up cohort there were 12 patients with new cancers in the ezetimibe/simvastatin group and 22 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.27 to 1.11).

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Over the same time period, 43 patients assigned to ezetimibe/simvastatin and 33 assigned to placebo died (hazard ratio, 1.29; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.82 to 2.03).

“Treatment with ezetimibe/simvastatin was not associated with an increased risk for cancer or mortality in the 21-month period after the completion of the original SEAS study,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Merck, which funded the study and manufactures ezetimibe and simvastatin.


  1. Green, Anders, MD, PhD, et al. “Incidence of Cancer and Mortality in Patients from the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) Trial.” The American Journal of Cardiology. DOI: November 15, 2014.