Patients taking statins on a regularbasis may reduce the odds of developingcolorectal cancer by 50%, according to astudy reported in the New England Journalof Medicine (May 26, 2005). The studycompared statin use by 1953 patients inIsrael who had been diagnosed with coloncancer between 1998 and 2004 with statinuse by a control group of 2015 participants.The 2 commonly used statin drugstaken by the study group were simvastatinand pravastatin.
The findings showed a 47% "relativereduction in the risk of colorectal cancerafter adjustment for other known riskfactors."Researcher Stephen B. Gruber,MD, PhD, said that more testing waswarranted because the absolute riskreduction was most likely low. He alsostressed that the current study is only anobservation in a selected population. Inorder to determine whether statins helpprotect against colorectal cancer, Dr.Gruber said that a randomized clinicaltrial that includes these medicines andother statins, compared with a placebo,is necessary.