The results of a Nordic study, with a follow-up of 10 years, show that statins may decrease mortality rate and incidence of cancer in the long term. In the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S), which was launched in 1989, patients were randomly assigned to simvastatin or a placebo for 5 years. The 5-year 4S followup had demonstrated that simvastatin treatment reduced cardiovascular mortality by 36% and coronary mortality by 43%.

The long-term follow-up compared the 2221 patients who had taken simvastatin for 10 years with the 2223 patients who had initially received placebo and had started taking statins just 5 years ago. Overall, there was a 17% decrease in cardiovascular mortality and a 24% reduction in coronary mortality for the 10-year statin users, compared with the 5-year users. These latest results were published in the Lancet, August 26, 2004.