TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Lipophilic statin use is associated with significantly reduced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence and mortality in adults with chronic viral hepatitis, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Tracey G. Simon, M.D., M.P.H., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between lipophilic or hydrophilic statin use and HCC incidence and mortality in a prospective propensity score-matched cohort of patients 18 years or older with confirmed chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection. A total of 8,334 adults who initiated statin use (6,554 lipophilic and 1,780 hydrophilic) were matched to 8,334 nonusers.

The researchers found that lipophilic statin users had a significantly lower 10-year HCC risk compared with matched nonusers (8.1 versus 3.3 percent; absolute risk difference [RD], −4.8 percent; adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [aHR], 0.56; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.41 to 0.79), while hydrophilic statin users did not have a lower risk (8.0 versus 6.8 percent; RD, −1.2 percent; aHR, 0.95; 95 percent CI, 0.86 to 1.08). The inverse correlation was dose-dependent; 10-year HCC risk was lowest with 600 or more lipophilic statin cumulative defined daily doses (cDDDs) compared with nonuse (8.4 versus 2.5 percent; RD, −5.9 percent; aHR, 0.41; 95 percent CI, 0.32 to 0.61). Both lipophilic and hydrophilic statin users had significantly lower 10-year mortality (15.2 versus 7.3 percent [RD, −7.9 percent; 95 percent CI, −9.6 to −6.2 percent] and 16.0 versus 11.5 percent [RD, −4.5 percent; 95 percent CI, −6.0 to −3.0 percent], respectively).

“These findings support further research to characterize the potential hepatoprotective benefits of lipophilic statins,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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