Author(s): Shi M, Zheng H, Nie B, Gong W, Cui X
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Statins are commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. Preclinical studies suggest that statins may possess cancer preventive properties. The primary objective of this meta-analysis was to determine the association between statin use and risk of liver cancer. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: International. PARTICIPANTS: A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, BIOSIS Previews, Web of Science, EMBASE, EBSCO and Cochrane Library was conducted through March 2014. The effect estimate was reported as pooled relative risk (RR) with 95\% CIs, using the random-effects model. RESULTS: A total of 12 studies (1 individual patient data analysis of 22 randomised controlled trials, 5 cohorts and 6 case-controls) were qualified for this meta-analysis, involving 5,640,313 participants including 35,756 liver cancer cases. Our results indicated a significant risk reduction of liver cancer among all statin users (RR=0.58, 95\% CIs 0.51 to 0.67). The difference of the study designs can partly explain the significant heterogeneity found in the overall analysis (I(2)=65\%, p=0.0006). No evidence of publication bias was observed in this meta-analysis. Similar risk reductions were found in the subgroups analysis of Western and Asian countries, lipophilic and hydrophilia statins. There was a trend towards more risk reductions in subgroups with higher baseline risk, inadequate adjustment and higher cumulative dosage of statin use. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis suggests that statin is associated with a significant risk reduction of liver cancer when taken daily for cardiovascular event prevention. However, this preventive effect might be overestimated due to the exposure period, the indication and contraindication of statins and other confounders. Statins might be considered as an adjuvant in the treatment of liver cancer. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
This article was published in BMJ Open
and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology