Statin use is inversely associated with pancreatic cancer risk, with evidence of a sex-specific risk reduction, according to a study published in Cancer.

Evan J. Walker, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the correlation between statin use and the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The authors recruited 536 patients with confirmed diagnoses of pancreatic cancer, who were frequency-matched by sex and age with 869 controls over a six-year period (2006 to 2011).


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An epidemiological risk factor questionnaire was administered that covered topics such as medical history, lifestyle factors, and medication usage.

The researchers observed a 34 percent reduction in pancreatic cancer risk in association with ever use of statins (odds ratio [OR], 0.66; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.47 to 0.92).

Risk was statistically significantly reduced in men only in sex-stratified analyses (OR for men, 0.50; 95 percent CI, 0.32 to 0.79; OR for women, 0.86; 95 percent CI, 0.52 to 1.43).

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There was an association between duration of use and pancreatic cancer risk (>10-year use: overall OR, 0.51; OR for men, 0.41; 95 percent CI, 0.21 to 0.80).

“This is the largest case-control study to demonstrate an inverse association between statin use and pancreatic cancer risk,” the authors write.

“Further research is warranted to better characterize this association and clarify the roles of underlying biologic mechanisms.”

Reference

  1. Walker, Evan J., ScB, et al. “Statin use and risk of pancreatic cancer: Results from a large, clinic-based case-control study.” Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29256. [epub ahead of print]. February 3, 2015.