LAS VEGAS — Patients taking statins were at reduced risk for developing esophageal cancer, particularly those who had taken statins for a longer time, or in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin, according to data presented at the 2012 American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers searched Medline, Embase and Web of Science and found six case-control and five cohort studies including 8,613 patients with esophageal cancer (EC) among 995,687 participants. All included studies evaluated participants’ statin exposure, cancer outcomes and calculated RRs or ORs for associations between these two factors. Summary ORs, adjusted for confounders, were calculated across the 11 studies.
Patients who used statins were less likely to develop EC (adjusted OR=0.70; 95% CI, 0.57-0.86), but investigators indicated significant heterogeneity across studies. Similar results were observed after restricting analysis to seven observational studies (aOR=0.70; 95% CI, 0.56-0.88; I2=40). Participants with a longer duration of statin use (aOR=0.44; 95% CI, 0.24-0.78) and those who used statins and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or aspirin (aOR=0.28; 95% CI, 0.14-0.56) were at particularly decreased risk.
Among 312 cases with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and Barrett’s esophagus (BE) across five studies and 2,125 patients, statin use also was linked to a consistent decreased risk for EAC (aOR=0.59, 95% CI, 0.45-0.78). Researchers calculated a number-needed-to-treat of 389 to prevent one EAC case among participants with BE.
“Meta-analysis of existing observational studies support a protective association between statin use and EC, especially in patients with BE,” the researchers concluded. “Given the high mortality rates after a diagnosis of EAC, these results support chemoprevention trials evaluating statins in populations at high risk of developing EAC.”
For more information:
Singh S. #1: Statins and the Risk of Esophageal Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Presented at: the 2012 American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 19-24, Las Vegas.