Taking statins is associated with a lower risk of death from any cause and cancer-related death among people with colorectal cancer. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis found association held true regardless of whether people took statins during the period prior to or following diagnosis of the malignancy.

Yue Li of the department of gastroenterology at Zhejiang University Medical School in Zhejiang, China, and colleagues reviewed 14 studies including 130,994 people and published their findings in Cancer Medicine.

Six studies reported on the association between prediagnosis statin use and mortality among those with colorectal cancer. The investigators excluded one study because it reported only about cancer-specific—rather than all-cause—mortality. The five remaining studies included 85,313 people.

Prediagnosis statin use was associated with a 15% lower rate of death from any cause and an 18% lower rate of cancer-specific mortality.

Eleven studies included information on the association between post-diagnosis statin use and mortality. The study authors excluded one study because it may have been affected by bias. The remaining 10 papers included 44,040 people.

Post-diagnosis statin use was associated with a 14% lower risk of death from any cause and a 21% lower risk of cancer-specific mortality. There was no difference in all-cause mortality when the investigators stratified the data according to participants’ KRAS gene mutation status.

The study authors stratified their analyses for both pre- and post-diagnosis statin use according to participants’ country, tumor site, tumor status and cancer treatment and did not find any differences in the rate of all-cause or cancer-specific mortality.

“Considering that statins are low cost and widely used agents worldwide, we believe our updated meta‐analysis can provide new insights into optimizing adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer,” the study authors concluded.

To read the study, click here.