Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 237–249 | Cite as

Association between statin use and colorectal cancer risk: a meta-analysis of 42 studies

  • Yanqiong Liu
  • Weizhong Tang
  • Jian Wang
  • Li Xie
  • Taijie Li
  • Yu He
  • Yan Deng
  • Qiliu Peng
  • Shan LiEmail author
  • Xue QinEmail author
Original paper



There is a long-standing debate about whether statins have chemopreventive properties against colorectal cancer (CRC), but the results remain inconclusive. We therefore present a meta-analysis to investigate the association between statin use and risk of CRC.


A comprehensive literature search was undertaken through July 2013 looking for eligible studies. Pooled relative risk (RR) estimates and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were used to calculate estimated effect.


Forty-two studies [18 case–control studies, 13 cohort studies, and 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs)] were included in this analysis. Overall, statin use was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of CRC (RR = 0.90, 95 % CI 0.86–0.95). When the analyses were stratified into subgroups, a significant decreased association of CRC risk was observed in observational studies (RR = 0.89, 95 % CI 0.84–0.95), rectal cancer (RR = 0.81, 95 % CI 0.66–0.99), and lipophilic statin (RR = 0.88, 95 % CI 0.85–0.93), but not in RCTs (RR = 0.96, 95 % CI 0.85–1.08), colon cancer, and hydrophilic statin. However, long-term statin use (≥5 years) did not significantly affect the risk of CRC (RR = 0.96, 95 % CI 0.90–1.03). Cumulative meta-analysis showed that statin use significantly reduces the risk of CRC, which has been available between 2007 and 2013.


Our results suggest that statin use is associated with a modest reduced risk of CRC; apparent associations were found for lipophilic statin use. However, long-term statin use did not appear to significantly affect the risk of CRC.


Statin Colorectal cancer Risk Prevention Meta-analysis 




Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interest among any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10552_2013_326_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (365 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 364 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanqiong Liu
    • 1
  • Weizhong Tang
    • 2
  • Jian Wang
    • 1
  • Li Xie
    • 1
  • Taijie Li
    • 1
  • Yu He
    • 1
  • Yan Deng
    • 1
  • Qiliu Peng
    • 1
  • Shan Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xue Qin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical LaboratoryFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical UniversityNanningChina
  2. 2.Department of Colorectal and Anal SurgeryFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical UniversityNanningChina

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