UK data confirm protective effect of statins against liver cancer

Study using UK data has observed a protective effect of statins against liver cancer. In the image, dividing cancer cells

Statins target the production of cholesterol in the liver. There is evidence from Asia, which has high rates of liver cancer, that statins protect against this malignancy; now, a similar protective effect has been demonstrated in the UK, which has a low rate of the disease.

According to a case-control study using UK data and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute
, people taking statins had a reduced risk for developing primary liver cancer. The adjusted odds ratio was 0.55 for ever-use versus non-use (95% confidence interval 0.45 to 0.69), and the effect remained significant irrespective of presence or absence of diabetes or liver disease.

“Statin use may be especially beneficial in persons at elevated risk of liver cancer,” the authors write. 


[1] McGlynn KA, Hagberg K, Chen J, et al. Statin use and risk of primary liver cancer in the clinical practice research Datalink. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015; 107(4): djv009. doi:10.1093/jnci/djv009

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 28 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7851;294(7851):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067968

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