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Eur Urol. 2016 May;69(5):877-82. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2015.10.020. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Long-term Use of Statins and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Population-based Case-Control Study.

Author information

1
Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark. Electronic address: apottegaard@health.sdu.dk.
2
Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA; Clinical Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark.
3
Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
4
Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark.
5
Clinical Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark; Department of Urology, Odense University Hospital, Odense C, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Use of statins has been suggested to protect against renal cell carcinoma (RCC); however, studies have typically been underpowered, and the results are conflicting.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the use of statins is associated with a reduced risk of RCC using high-quality registry data.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

We conducted a nationwide case-control study based on all histologically verified cases of RCC in Denmark between 2002 and 2012 (n=4606) matched 1:10 to cancer-free controls. Data on drug use, comorbidity, and educational level were obtained from Danish nationwide prescription, patient, and demographic registries.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for RCC associated with long-term use (≥5 yr) of statins were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:

The adjusted OR for RCC associated with long-term use of statins was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.91-1.23). Analyses stratified by duration of statin use, type of statin, and patient characteristics all yielded ORs close to unity, except for a slightly increased OR for RCC associated with long-term statin use among women (OR: 1.25; 95% CI, 0.96-1.62). The main limitation of our study was lack of information on lifestyle factors, notably obesity, which may have biased the risk estimates upward.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study does not support an important chemopreventive effect of long-term statin use against RCC. The marginally increased and statistically insignificant risk estimates can readily be interpreted as a null finding, considering the lack of control for obesity and other lifestyle risk factors.

PATIENT SUMMARY:

Previous studies have shown that the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) may protect against renal cancer. In a large study including all Danish renal cancers during an 11-yr period, we found no evidence of such an effect.

KEYWORDS:

Case–control study; Pharmacoepidemiology; Renal cancer; Statin

PMID:
26603781
DOI:
10.1016/j.eururo.2015.10.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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