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Statins May Prevent Breast Cancer
"Our analysis is one of the first to look exclusively at the relationship between lipid-lowering medications and the development of breast cancer, and our findings are dramatically positive," said lead investigator Jane Cauley, professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
The Pittsburgh-led study found that older women who took statins and non-statin lipid-lowering drugs experienced a 60 to 70 percent reduction in their risk of breast cancer over approximately seven years. Researchers reviewed data on 7,528 white women age 65 years and older who participated in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures at sites and followed them for seven years.
A total of 234 (3.3 percent) cases of breast cancer were reported among the 6,952 participants who reported no use of lipid-lowering drugs; six cases (2.1 percent) among the 284 women who used statins; and four cases (1.3 percent) among the 292 who used nonstatin lipid-lowering drugs. The combined group of lipid-lowering drug users had a 68 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Investigators adjusted for body mass index and other risk factors for breast cancer such as the age at menarche, age at first birth, parity, physical activity and alcohol consumption.
The hypothesis that reduction in total fat will result in a decreased risk of breast cancer is being tested in a separate study that is part of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), an ongoing set of clinical trials involving 161,000 women, testing preventive measures for heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer of the breast and colon.
The study results are published in the October issue of the Journal of Women's Health.
MEDICA.de, Source: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center