Paul R. Carter
Women with hyperlipidemia have reduced risk for breast cancer and mortality compared with women without hyperlipidemia, possibly driven by statin use, according to research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress.
“Our research confirms that women with a diagnosis of high cholesterol have strikingly lower rates of breast cancer with improved death rates and survival,” Paul R. Carter, MB, BCh, cardiology academic clinical fellow at Cambridge University in England and researcher at the ACALM Study Unit at Aston University in Birmingham, England, said in a press release. “Building on previous research by us and other groups, including animal studies in which statins reduced the risk of breast cancer, this gives a strong indication that statins produce this protective effect in breast cancer.”
Researchers analyzed data from 16,043 women aged at least 40 years (mean age, 67 years) admitted to hospitals between 2000 and 2013 who were free from breast cancer and had hyperlipidemia at baseline.
Those with hyperlipidemia were compared to an age- and sex-matched group (n = 16,043; mean age, 66 years) without hyperlipidemia.
Outcomes of interest included breast cancer incidence and adjusted and unadjusted mortality rates.
Breast cancer was diagnosed in 0.5% of women in the hyperlipidemia group vs. 0.8% in the non-hyperlipidemia group. Women with hyperlipidemia who developed breast cancer had a lower rate of death (27.4%) compared with those who developed breast cancer who did not have hyperlipidemia at baseline (37.4%).
Adjusted data showed that women with hyperlipidemia had a lower risk for breast cancer (OR = 0.671; 95% CI, 0.486-0.927) and mortality (OR = 0.603; 95% CI, 0.571-0.637) compared with those without hyperlipidemia.
“The underlying reasons are yet to be elucidated, but treatment with statins or a healthier lifestyle may contribute,” Rahul Potluri, MBBS, senior author and founder of the ACALM study unit, and colleagues wrote in the abstract. “The potentially beneficial effect of lipid-lowering medications amongst cancer patients should be further investigated.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Carter PR, et al. Abstract 3106. Presented at: European Society of Cardiology Congress; August 26-30, 2017; Barcelona, Spain.
Disclosure: Carter reports he has no relevant financial disclosures.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Sept. 5, 2017 to correct the rate of death in women with hyperlipidemia who developed breast cancer. The Editors regret the error.