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J Palliat Care. 2006 Winter;22(4):281-5.

Physician practice in the discontinuation of statins among patients with advanced lung cancer.

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, USA.



Statins are effective in reducing events from coronary heart disease and can prolong survival. However, this benefit is controversial when other concurrent serious health problems greatly limit the patient's longevity.


We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with advanced lung cancer who were receiving statins and had lived for at least one month since diagnosis.


Forty-seven patients with median age of 71 years were included. Discontinuation of statins occurred in 25 patients (53.2%) before the date of death. Median survival was 370 days. Statins were discontinued at a median of 244 days after cancer diagnosis. Discontinuations were more prevalent in patients who received chemotherapy or had a history of cerebrovascular diseases. Lipid monitoring was observed in 25 patients (53.2%).


About half of patients with advanced lung cancer who were prescribed statins did not have this drug discontinued until the time of death. Lipid monitoring was suboptimal and, when it occurred, indicated the lipid goal was rarely achieved.

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