Author + information
- Received July 26, 2010
- Revision received April 5, 2011
- Accepted April 7, 2011
- Published online July 26, 2011.
- Claudio Marelli, MD⁎,
- Candace Gunnarsson, EdD⁎,⁎ (, )
- Susan Ross, MD⁎,
- Sara Haas, MS⁎,
- Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc⁎,
- Paul Cload, PhD†,
- Paul Clopton, MS‡ and
- Anthony N. DeMaria, MD§
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Candace L. Gunnarsson, S2 Statistical Solutions, Inc., 11176 Main Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241
Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine whether cancer can be attributed to statin use among a general population of older adults in the United States with at least 3 years of follow-up.
Background Statins are widely prescribed drugs in the United States for the management of dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular event risk reduction. Unsettled scientific debate about the association of statins with cancer continues, with high-profile studies showing conflicting results.
Methods A retrospective cohort analysis of the incidence of cancer in older adults who have and who have not used statins was performed. More than 11 million analyzable patient records from January 1990 through February 2009 were drawn from the General Electric Centricity electronic medical records database. Propensity matching found pairs of patients receiving and not receiving statin therapy who shared similar propensities for statin use.
Results Propensity score methods matched 45,857 comparison pairs of patients taking a statin and patients not taking a statin. The average time in the database was 8 years, with pairs being followed for an average of 4.6 and 4.7 years. After matching, the incidence of cancer in patients taking a statin was 11.37% compared with 11.11% in matched patients not taking a statin. Multivariate-matched Cox regression analysis showed a nonsignificant hazard ratio of 1.04 (95% confidence interval: 0.99 to 1.09). Kaplan-Meier curves for diagnosis of any cancer up to 10 years also showed no difference for patients taking a statin and those not taking a statin.
Conclusions This retrospective analysis of nearly 46,000 propensity-matched pairs demonstrated no statistically significant increased risk of cancer associated with statins.
Dr. Marelli is a former employee of GE Healthcare. Dr. Gunnarsson received consultant fees from GE Healthcare. Drs Ross and Stroup are paid consultants of S2 Statistical Solutions. Ms. Haas is a current employee of S2 Statistical Solutions. Dr. Cload is an employee of GE Healthcare. Mr. Clopton is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. DeMaria is a grantee and ad hoc consultant for General Electric Co., as well as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. C. Noel Bairey-Merz, MD, served as Guest Editor for this paper.
- Received July 26, 2010.
- Revision received April 5, 2011.
- Accepted April 7, 2011.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation