Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1099–1111 | Cite as

Statin use and risk of pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis

  • Xiaobing Cui
  • Yue Xie
  • Min Chen
  • Jun Li
  • Xiaoming Liao
  • Jian Shen
  • Meng Shi
  • Wenjing Li
  • Haoxuan Zheng
  • Bo JiangEmail author
Original paper



Statins are commonly prescribed medications that potently reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular events. Preclinical studies suggested statins also possess cancer chemopreventive properties. However, the clinical studies provided contradictory results as to whether statins influence the risk of pancreatic cancer. Herein, we present this meta-analysis to assess the association between statin use and risk of pancreatic cancer.


We conducted a comprehensive search up to August 2011 for the eligible studies. Pooled relative risk (RR) estimates and corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the inverse-variance-weighted random-effects model. Subgroup analyses were conducted where data were available. Heterogeneity was assessed by the Cochran’s Q test and the I 2 statistic.


We included 16 studies that involving 1,692,863 participants and 7,807 pancreatic cancer cases. Pooled results only indicated a non-significant decrease of pancreatic cancer risk among all statin users (RR 0.89; 95 % CIs, 0.74–1.07). Similar results were obtained in the subgroup analyses of the long-term (more than 4 years) follow-up (RR 0.94, 0.81–1.08) and statin use (RR 0.97, 0.76–1.23), and a null association was found between lipophilic statin use and pancreatic cancer risk (RR 1.03, 0.92–1.16). No evidence of publication bias was observed in the present meta-analysis. However, significant heterogeneity was detected among all studies (p < 0.00001, I 2 = 81 %).


In conclusion, our results suggest that there is no association between statin use and pancreatic cancer risk, when statins are taken at daily doses for cardiovascular event prevention.


Statin Pancreatic cancer Risk Prevention Meta-analysis 



Relative risk


Confidence intervals


Randomized controlled trials


3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A



We would like to thank Gui Lv (Senior Lecturer in School of Foreign Studies, Southern Medical University) for her constructive comments and careful revision of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interest among all authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaobing Cui
    • 1
  • Yue Xie
    • 1
  • Min Chen
    • 1
  • Jun Li
    • 2
  • Xiaoming Liao
    • 3
  • Jian Shen
    • 4
  • Meng Shi
    • 1
  • Wenjing Li
    • 1
  • Haoxuan Zheng
    • 1
  • Bo Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Joint Surgery, Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Cardiology, Zhujiang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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