Statins protect against hepatocellular carcinoma
High-risk patients may benefit from a protective effect of statins against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a recent study suggests. This effect appears to be greater in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) or liver cirrhosis (LC).
Researchers drew data from the 2002–2013 National Health Insurance Service Physical Health Examination Cohort in the Republic of Korea. Multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association of HCC with statin use.
The use of statins was significantly less common in 1,642 HCC patients than in 8,210 age-, sex- and index date-matched controls, including simvastatin (odds ratio [OR], 0.44; 95 percent CI, 0.33–0.58), atorvastatin (OR, 0.49; 0.37–0.65), lovastatin (OR, 0.34; 0.16–0.73), rosuvastatin (OR, 0.56; 0.31–0.98) and pitavastatin (OR, 0.31; 0.13–0.77).
There was a significant association between statin use and a lower risk of HCC incidence relative to nonuse (adjusted OR, 0.44; 0.33–0.58).
Cumulative doses of statin also appeared to yield a trend of risk reduction. The corresponding adjusted ORs for <180, 180–365, 365–720 and ≥720 cumulative defined daily doses of statin use were 0.45 (0.32–0.64), 0.56 (0.31–1.00), 0.41 (0.22–0.76) and 0.30 (0.14–0.63).
The inhibitory effect of statins on HCC was stronger in patients with DM (adjusted OR, 0.28; 0.17–0.46) and LC (adjusted OR, 0.39; 0.26–0.70) relative to statin users without the said conditions (adjusted OR for DM, 0.53; 0.39–0.73; adjusted OR for LC, 0.42; 0.32–0.57).