Lipid-Lowering Drug Use and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the ARIC Study

Michael T. Marrone, Alison M. Mondul, Anna E. Prizment, David Couper, John R. Barber, Meera R. Chappidi, Corinne E. Joshu, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lipid-lowering drugs, particularly statins, are associated with reduced incidence of certain cancers in some studies. Associations with cancer mortality are not well studied, and whether associations are similar across race is unknown. Methods: We conducted a prospective analysis of 12 997 cancer-free participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study who were never users at visit 1 (1987-1989). Ever use, duration of use, and age at first use were modeled as time-dependent variables using Cox regression to estimate associations with total, obesity- and smoking-associated, bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Results: We ascertained 3869 cancer cases and 1661 cancer deaths in 237 999 or more person-years. At 6 years of follow-up, 70.8% of lipid-lowering drug use was a statin. Compared with never use, ever use was associated with lower total, obesity- and smoking-associated cancer mortality and with colorectal cancer mortality (hazard ratio [HR] ¼ 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] ¼ 0.32 to 0.79) and incidence (HR ¼ 0.69, 95% CI ¼ 0.53 to 0.92). Inverse associations were consistent by sex and race. Shorter-term use was associated with bladder cancer incidence in men (<10 years: HR ¼ 1.67, 95% CI ¼ 1.02 to 2.73). First use at age 60 years or older was inversely associated with: total mortality, obesity- and smoking-associated mortality, and colorectal cancer mortality; and total incidence, obesity- and smoking-associated incidence, and breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer incidence. Conclusions: This study provides additional evidence for inverse associations between lipid-lowering drug use and cancer incidence and mortality but a positive association with bladder cancer incidence in men. Evaluation of the impact of chemoprevention strategies that include lipid-lowering drugs on population-level cancer burden is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpkab080
JournalJNCI Cancer Spectrum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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