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Statin use and risk of pancreatic cancer: Results from a large clinic-based case-control study
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    Statins are cholesterol-lowering medications with pleiotropic effects including alterations in growth signaling as well as immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects that may alter cancer risk. Evidence from previous epidemiologic studies is inconsistent regarding whether statin use is associated with reduced risk of pancreatic cancer (PC).


    Patients with confirmed diagnoses of PC (cases) were recruited from medical and surgical oncology clinics, with controls (frequency-matched by sex and age) recruited from general medicine clinics, at a high-volume academic medical center over a six-year period (2006–2011). Direct interviews were conducted using an epidemiological risk factor questionnaire covering topics such as medical history, lifestyle factors, and medication usage. Adjusted multivariable logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) as estimates of the relative risk of PC.


    Data were obtained from 536 cases and 869 controls. Ever use of statins was associated with 34% reduced PC risk (OR=0.66, 95%CI 0.47–0.92). In sex-stratified analyses, risk was statistically significantly reduced in men only (men: OR=0.50, 95%CI 0.32–0.79; women: OR=0.86, 95%CI 0.52–1.43). Duration of use was inversely associated with PC risk (>10 year use: OR=0.51 overall; in men, OR=0.41, 95%CI 0.21–0.80; ptrend=0.006).


    This is the largest case-control study to demonstrate an inverse association between statin use and PC risk. Risk reduction in statin users appears to be sex-specific and is more pronounced in long-term users. Further research is warranted to better characterize this association and clarify roles of underlying biologic mechanisms.

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    HHSN261201000140C/PHS HHS/United States
    KL2 TR000143/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
    R01 CA109767/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01CA1009767/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01CA109767-S1/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    TL1TR000144/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
    U58DP003862-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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