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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Dec 11;60(23):2384-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.07.067. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Effect of statin therapy on the risk for incident heart failure in patients with breast cancer receiving anthracycline chemotherapy: an observational clinical cohort study.

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Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of continuous statin treatment on new-onset heart failure (HF) in patients with breast cancer receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy.


In vitro and animal model experimental studies have reported that statins prevent doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.


A total of 628 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer (mean age 51.5 ± 10.8 years) treated with anthracycline were retrospectively identified and studied. The primary outcome (incident HF hospitalization) was compared in propensity-matched patients receiving uninterrupted statin therapy through the follow-up period of 2.55 ± 1.68 years and their counterparts not receiving continuous statin therapy.


After propensity matching (2:1), the 67 patients (10.7%) receiving uninterrupted statin therapy were combined with 134 controls. New-onset HF was observed in 67 of the 201 matched patients. Multivariate-matched Cox regression analysis showed a significantly lower hazard ratio [HR] of 0.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.1 to 0.9; p = 0.03) for patients taking uninterrupted statin therapy. Cardiotoxicity risk factors at the time of cancer diagnosis (HR: 5.0; 95% CI: 2.2 to 11.1; p < 0.001), baseline ejection fraction <55% (HR: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.2 to 6.3; p = 0.02), and trastuzumab use (HR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.3 to 7.2; p = 0.01) were predictors of incident HF.


In this analysis of female patients with breast cancer treated with anthracycline chemotherapy, statin use was associated with a lower risk for incident HF. This finding is consistent with prior animal studies and warrants further investigation through prospective randomized clinical trials.

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