Statin prescriptions and breast cancer recurrence risk: a Danish nationwide prospective cohort study.J Natl Cancer Inst 2011; 103(19):1461-8JNCI
Accumulating evidence suggests that statins affect diseases other than cardiovascular disease, including cancer, and that these effects may depend on the lipid solubility of specific statins. Though many studies have reported an association between statin use and breast cancer incidence, the relationship between statin use and breast cancer recurrence has not been well studied.
We conducted a nationwide, population-based prospective cohort study of all female residents in Denmark diagnosed with stage I-III invasive breast carcinoma who were reported to the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group registry between 1996 and 2003 (n = 18,769). Women were followed for a median of 6.8 years after diagnosis. Prescriptions for lipophilic and hydrophilic statins were ascertained from the national electronic pharmacy database. Associations between statin prescriptions and breast cancer recurrence were estimated with generalized linear models and Cox proportional hazards regression with adjustment for age and menopausal status at diagnosis; histological grade; estrogen receptor status; receipt of adjuvant therapy; type of primary surgery received; pre-diagnosis hormone replacement therapy; and co-prescriptions of aspirin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or anticoagulants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Most prescriptions for lipophilic statins in the study population were for simvastatin. Exclusive simvastatin users experienced approximately 10 fewer breast cancer recurrences per 100 women after 10 years of follow-up (adjusted 10-year risk difference = -0.10, 95% confidence interval = -0.11 to -0.08), compared with women who were not prescribed a statin. Exclusive hydrophilic statin users had approximately the same risk of breast cancer recurrence as women not prescribed a statin over follow-up (adjusted 10-year risk difference = 0.05, 95% confidence interval = -0.01 to 0.11).
Simvastatin, a highly lipophilic statin, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence among Danish women diagnosed with stage I-III breast carcinoma, whereas no association between hydrophilic statin use and breast cancer recurrence was observed.