Statin use and risk of skin cancer

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Abstract

Background:

Statins are among the most commonly used medications in the United States, and statin use is associated with increased risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). However, previous studies are limited by lack of adjustment for important confounders.

Objective:

Examine the relation between statins and skin cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Methods:

Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate associations.

Results:

During follow-up (2000-2010), we documented 10,201 BCC, 1393 SCC, and 333 melanoma cases. History of high cholesterol level was not associated with risk of BCC (pooled multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.09), SCC (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.85-1.06), or melanoma (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.64-1.19). Statin use was not associated with risk of BCC (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.99-1.09]), SCC (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.94-1.24), or melanoma (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.78-1.38). There was a trend toward higher BCC risk with longer duration of statin use in men (P trend = .003) but not in women (P trend = .86).

Limitations:

Lack of treatment data.

Conclusion:

History of high cholesterol level was not associated with skin cancer risk. Longer duration of statin use was associated with a trend toward higher BCC risk in men.

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