Statin Use Does Not Change Benefits of Prostate Cancer Screening

statins and stethoscope
A generic pack of statins with a stethoscope. A controversial anti cholesterol medication.All logos removed.
Less of an increase reported in detection of low-grade localized tumors in statin users versus nonusers

HealthDay News — Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is associated with a lower incidence of advanced prostate cancer regardless of statin use, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in JAMA Oncology.

Arla Vettenranta, M.D., from Tampere University in Finland, and colleagues assessed whether statin use was associated with the risk for prostate cancer overall, high-risk disease, and prostate cancer mortality in a screening group versus a control group. The analysis included 78,606 men, aged 55 to 67 years at baseline (March 1, 1996, to Dec. 31, 1999), followed through 2015 and with information on statin purchases from 1996 to 2009.

The researchers found that while PSA screening was associated with increased prostate cancer incidence among statin nonusers (screening versus control, 11.2 versus 8.6 per 1,000 person-years; rate ratio, 1.31; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.24 to 1.38), no similar increase in incidence was seen among statin users (6.9 versus 5.9 per 1,000 person-years; rate ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.10; P < 0.001 for interaction). Among statin users, the incidence of low-risk (Gleason score 6) and localized tumors was lower, while the detection of tumors with a Gleason score of 8 to 10 was similar. Regardless of statin use, screening was associated with a lower incidence of metastatic tumors.

“These findings suggest that statin use does not materially compromise benefits of PSA-based screening,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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