European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 485–492 | Cite as

Statin use and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Shih-Wei Lai
  • Kuan-Fu Liao
  • Hsueh-Chou Lai
  • Chih-Hsin Muo
  • Fung-Chang Sung
  • Pei-Chun ChenEmail author


The objective of this study was to explore the association between statins use and risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We used the research database of the Taiwan National Health Insurance program to conduct a population-based case–control study. Cases were 3,480 patients with newly diagnosed HCC identified during 2000 and 2009. Controls were 13,920 subjects without HCC and frequency matched for age, sex and duration of observational period of cases (i.e., the duration between year of being enrolled in the insurance program and index year of cases). Six commercially available statins, including simvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin, were analyzed. The adjusted odds ratio [OR] of HCC was 0.72 [95 % (CI) 0.59–0.88] for the group with stains use, when compared to the group with non-use of statins. In sub-analysis, simvastatin (OR 0.69, 95 % CI 0.50–0.94), lovastatin (OR 0.52, 95 % CI 0.36–0.76) and atorvastatin (OR 0.70, 95 % CI 0.53–0.93) were associated with significant reduction in odds of HCC. Statins use correlates with 28 % decreased risk of HCC. Individual statins, including simvastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin, are associated with reduced risk of HCC.


Hepatocellular carcinoma Statin 



The authors thank the National Health Research Institute in Taiwan for providing the insurance claims data. This study was supported in part by Taiwan Department of Health Clinical Trial and Research Center of Excellence (DOH102-TD-B-111-004).The funding agency did not influence the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shih-Wei Lai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kuan-Fu Liao
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Hsueh-Chou Lai
    • 6
    • 7
  • Chih-Hsin Muo
    • 8
    • 9
  • Fung-Chang Sung
    • 8
    • 9
  • Pei-Chun Chen
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1. School of MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Integrated MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineTaichung Tzu Chi General HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Health Care AdministrationCentral Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaichungTaiwan
  6. 6.School of Chinese MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  7. 7.Department of Internal MedicineChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  8. 8.Department of Public HealthChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  9. 9.Management Office for Health DataChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  10. 10.Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public HealthNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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