An analysis of 1,001 men with prostate cancer indicated that those who used statin drugs prior to diagnosis had a decreased risk of prostate-cancer-specific mortality (PCSM).

A total of 289 men in the prospective, population-based cohort study were found to be ever-users of the cholesterol-lowering agents. Of the 123 deaths that occurred during follow-up, which lasted an average of almost 8 years, 39 were prostate-cancer-specific.

In unadjusted analysis, the risk of PCSM was significantly lower for statin users than for nonusers, at 1% vs 5% at 10 years. In multivariable analysis, the adjusted hazard ratio for PCSM for statin users compared with nonusers was 0.19.

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Statin use was not associated with other-cause mortality or with overall recurrence or progression of the disease. (A total of 151 recurrence/progression events occurred in the study group.)

“If the results of our study are validated in other patient cohorts with extended follow-up for cause-specific death, an intervention trial of statin drugs in prostate cancer patients may be justified,” observed study leader Janet L. Stanford, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, in a statement issued by Hutchinson.

According to information provided in the statement, the study, which appears in The Prostate, is unique in that most prior research on the impact of statin use on prostate cancer outcomes has focused not on PCSM but on biochemical recurrence as characterized by a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level.