Several studies have indicated that statins may have anticarcinogenic effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate if statin treatment was associated with a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or colon cancer.
A nationwide case-control study was carried out in which all cases of HCC and colon cancer in the Swedish population above 40?years of age between 1 July 2006 and 31 December 2010 were identified in the Swedish Cancer Register. For every case, five controls were selected and matched on age and sex. Data on statin use was extracted from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. We estimated risks using conditional logistic regression and adjusted for educational level, concomitant medications and comorbidity.
Identified were 3994 cases of HCC and matched with 19.970 controls, and 21.143 cases of colon cancer were identified and matched with 105.715 controls. In the adjusted analysis, the odds ratio (OR) for HCC among statin users was 0.88 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-0.96), and the OR for colon cancer was 1.04 (95%CI 1.00-1.08) compared with non-users.
Statin use was associated with a modest decreased risk of HCC but did not influence the risk of colon cancer. Future randomized placebo-controlled trials in HCC high-risk patients are warranted to further investigate the possible prophylactic effect of statins in HCC.