Purpose: To evaluate the association between statin drug use and peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length in a U.S. nationally representative sample of adults. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2002, representative of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population. The analytic study population included 3496 men and women aged 40–84 years without a history of cancer and who had information of telomere length and statin use. Results: Compared with nonusers, statin users were more likely to be former smokers, older, white, male, and had more comorbidities. Statin users did not have longer telomeres than nonusers after age (coefficient −0.013, p =.30) and multivariable (0.0003, p =.98) adjustment. After multivariable adjustment, log-transformed telomere length nonstatistically significantly increased with increasing duration of use (0.003, p-trend =.11), which did not differ by number of comorbidities (p-interaction = 0.18). Compared with nonuse, more than 5 years of use had an odds ratio of telomere length above the 75th percentile of 1.62 (95% confidence interval 0.90–2.92; p-trend =.10). Conclusions: Although telomere length appeared to be longer with longer duration of use of a statin, this association was not statistically significant, and we could not rule out bias as the explanation.
- HMG-CoA statins
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