Statin use and pancreatic cancer risk in two prospective cohort studies
Statins, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, are common lipid-lowering agents and may reduce the risk of several cancer types including pancreatic cancer. However, the association between statin use and pancreatic cancer risk has not been fully evaluated in prospective studies.
We studied the association between statin use and incident pancreatic cancer in 113,059 participants from the prospective Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Statin use was self-reported via study questionnaires and updated biennially. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for incidence of pancreatic cancer were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounders.
In total, 583 participants developed incident pancreatic cancer during 1.4 million person-years of follow-up. No difference was identified in pancreatic cancer risk for regular versus non-regular statin users (multivariable-adjusted HR 0.98; 95% CI 0.82–1.16). There was no significant heterogeneity in the association of statin use with pancreatic cancer risk between the cohorts. Similarly, longer duration of regular statin use was not associated with decreased risk of pancreatic cancer (Ptrend = 0.65). The results remained similar when we examined statin use status at baseline or accounting for 4-year latency period. We observed no statistically significant effect modification for the association of statin use with pancreatic cancer risk by body mass index, smoking status, or diabetes mellitus status (all Pinteraction > 0.21).
Regular statin use was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk in two large prospective cohort studies in the U.S.
KeywordsChemoprevention Cohort studies Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors Pancreatic neoplasms Risk factors
The Nurses’ Health Study is supported by U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants: UM1 CA186107, P01 CA87969, and R01 CA49449. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study is supported by NIH UM1 CA167552. This work was additionally supported by NIH R01 CA205406 and the Broman Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research to K.N.; by the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Fund for Pancreatic Cancer, Perry S. Levy Fund for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research, Pappas Family Research Fund for Pancreatic Cancer, NIH R01 CA124908, and NIH P50 CA127003 to C.S.F.; by NIH R35 CA197735 to S.O.; and by Hale Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI) U01 CA210171, Department of Defense CA130288, Lustgarten Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Noble Effort Fund, Peter R. Leavitt Family Fund, Wexler Family Fund, and Promises for Purple to B.M.W. T.H. was supported by a fellowship grant from the Mitsukoshi Health and Welfare Foundation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors would like to thank the participants and staff of the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for their valuable contributions as well as the following state cancer registries for their help: AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WY. The authors assume full responsibility for analyses and interpretation of the data.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.