Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Overweight Men On Statins Have An Increased Risk For Prostate Cancer

Since I'm on the topic of prostate cancer, I may as well post this study from a few months ago:

Statin Use and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Results from a Population-based Epidemiologic Study, American Journal of Epidemiology, August 2008

Dairy food consumption is not alone in its link to prostate cancer. Add statins to the list - but only if the men who take them are overweight.

In this study, men with a BMI > 30 (Calculate your BMI here. A man 5'10", 209 lb has a BMI = 30.) who used statins had a 50% higher risk for prostate cancer than obese non-statin-users (so, it wasn't just because they were overweight). If obese men used statins for 5 years or more, that risk jumped to 80%.


Two mechanisms were put forth:
  1. Levels of a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were found in a previous study to be lower in statin users; and a recent analysis of studies revealed that men with lower levels of SHBG were at higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

  2. Statins have been shown to increase the level of regulatory T-cells, "which may suppress antitumor T-cell response and thereby enhance cancer risk."
Statins seem a far cry from the magic pill drug companies make them out to be.

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