THURSDAY, June 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients with heart failure, statin use is associated with a reduced risk for incident cancer and cancer-related mortality, according to a study published online June 22 in the European Heart Journal.

Qing-Wen Ren, from the University of Hong Kong Shen Zhen Hospital, and colleagues ascertained statin use among eligible patients with heart failure from 2003 to 2015 and examined the association with cancer and cancer-related mortality for statin nonusers (50,926) and statin users (36,176).

The researchers found that 11,052 individuals (12.7 percent) were diagnosed with cancer during a median follow-up of 4.1 years. Compared with nonuse, statin use was associated with a reduced risk for cancer incidence (multivariable adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR], 0.84; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 0.89). The inverse association was duration-dependent, with adjusted SHRs of 0.99 (95 percent CI, 0.87 to 1.13) for two to less than four years of use, 0.82 (95 percent CI, 0.70 to 0.97) for four to less than six years of use, and 0.78 (95 percent CI, 0.65 to 0.93) for at least six years of use compared with short-term statin use (three months to less than two years). Ten-year cancer-related mortality was 3.8 and 5.2 percent among statin users and nonusers, respectively (adjusted SHR, 0.74; 95 percent CI, 0.67 to 0.81).

“Our study highlights the relationship between heart failure and cancer development, and provides important information regarding the possibility of reducing cancer incidence and related deaths by using statins in these patients,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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