Statins may protect against prostate cancer

Statins may help prevent prostate cancer, according to two studies reported at the recent American Urological Association meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

A team at Duke University in Durham, N.C., followed 1,214 men (mean age 60 years) who had been prescribed a statin between 1990 and 2006 at the Durham VA Medical Center. They found that for every 10% decline in LDL, PSA levels fell by 1.6% after being adjusted for age. When stratified by quartiles, men with the highest pre-statin PSA and the largest drop in LDL experienced a 15.2% average decline in PSA levels.

There was even more promising news from Finland, where doctors were able to follow nearly every man in the country between the ages of 55 and 67 years, thanks to a comprehensive population registry and prescription database. Of the 78,500 men in this age group, 30,196 were randomly assigned to periodic PSA screening over a period of eight years. A total of 6,755 used statins during the study period, and 934 used fibrates or resins.

At the end of the study, the incidence of prostate cancer was 2.8% among statin users compared with 4.7% among nonusers. There was a lower incidence across all categories of prostate tumor grade. Statin users also had lower PSAs.

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