Statin use was associated with a reduced risk for colorectal cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, according to a recent study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues gathered data on 11,001 patients with IBD who received care at hospitals in the Greater Boston metropolitan area between 1998 and 2010. Diagnoses of CRC were calculated, and data on statin use prior to diagnosis was also evaluated by examining electronic prescriptions.
Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan
The researchers conducted a multivariate logistic regression analyses, and they adjusted for factors such as primary sclerosing cholangitis, smoking, increased levels of inflammation markers and CRC screening practices. The primary outcome was to identify if there is an independent association between CRC diagnosis and statin use.
Overall, 1,376 patients (12.5%) were prescribed at least one prescription for a statin. These patients who were prescribed statins were more likely to be men, white, older, smokers and to have more comorbidities than patients not prescribed statins. Also, 62% of patients prescribed a statin had ulcerative colitis.
Statin use was found to be independently and inversely associated with CRC (OR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.28–0.62). Two percent of patients prescribed a statin received a CRC diagnosis during a follow-up period of 9 years, compared with 3% of the patients who were not prescribed statins (age-adjusted OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.24–0.53).
“Our findings were robust on a variety of sensitivity and subgroup analyses,” the researchers wrote. “In conclusion, using a large, well-characterized cohort of patients with IBD, we show an inverse association between statin use and risk of colorectal cancer. There is a need for mechanistic studies on the role of statins in colitis-associated cancer to supplement the existing data on sporadic colon cancer. Further confirmation from other cohorts may provide support for the use of statins as a chemopreventive in patients with IBD.” – by Suzanne Reist
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.