Use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may reduce the risk of lung cancer by about half, according to a study.
New research shows that statins appear to protect against the development of lung cancer. The study conducted by researchers from Louisiana State University and the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center.
Examples of statins include Zocor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Crestor, Lescol, and Mevacor.
The researchers assessed the anti-lung cancer effect of statins by analysing 6 year data collected from 483,733 patients enrolled in the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System. The study population included 163,662 statin users and 7,280 patients with lung cancer.
The duration of statin use was defined as the time of usage prior to lung cancer diagnosis or time of usage until the data collection was completed. Researchers found that statin use of 6 or more months was associated with a lung cancer risk reduction of 55%. Statin use of more than 6 months showed — a decreased risk of lung cancer across all age groups, and despite race, smoking status, or body mass index (BMI).
Lung cancer remains the biggest cancer killer in the United States.
This study appears in the May issue of the journal Chest.