A 14-year study, which included nearly 1 million patients, has observed that the use of statins may be associated with reduced mortality and improved survival in lung, breast, prostate, and bowel cancers. The research is presented at Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology (FCVB) 2016. In this study, patients with one of the four cancers (between 2000 and 2013) were recruited from ACALM clinical database, which included data on co-existing conditions such as high cholesterol.
When the factors influencing mortality such as age, gender, and ethnicity had been adjusted, researchers learned that patients with cancer were less likely to die if they had a high cholesterol diagnosis than those patients that did not. A diagnosis of high cholesterol indicated a 22% lower risk of death in patients with lung cancer, 43% lower risk in breast cancer, 47% lower risk in prostate cancer, and 30% lower risk in bowel cancer patients.
The lead author of the study Dr. Paul Carter (Aston University, Birmingham, UK) envisages that the effect is caused by cholesterol-lowering interventions such as statins, since the association was prominent amongst all four cancers. However, further studies are needed to in other types of cancer to confirm this speculation.