, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 350-357

Lipid-lowering drugs and risk for cancer

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The suspicion that lipid-lowering drugs might increase the risk for cancer has been present for three decades and has been the reason for intense debate and several attempts to reanalyze data from clinical trials. Recently, the results of the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis study sparked new interest in this problem, as the intense lipid-lowering therapy seems to have increased the number of cancers compared with the control group. This article gives an overview of the clinical evidence from trials and observational studies. As of now, the evidence is inconclusive, but there does not appear to be a reason for serious concern with short-term therapy. Whether statins and other lipid-lowering drugs will increase the risk of cancer when used over several decades is at present unknown.