Major Statin Study Reveals Several Important Findings for Reducing Prostate Cancer and Disease
Statins, drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol, may have protective effects on prostate health. This large Mayo Clinic cohort study looked at three different aspects of urological health — prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and prostate enlargement. Initial research results were presented April 25–30, 2009, at the American Urological Association (AUA) meeting in Chicago.
These Mayo Clinic study findings came from data in the Olmsted County Study of Urinary Health Status among Men, a large cohort study of men living in Olmsted County, Minn. This study has followed 2,447 men ages 40 to 79 from 1990 to the present to assess various urologic outcomes among aging men.
Three significant abstracts were presented at the AUA meeting:
Statins May Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer In the first study, researchers followed the 2,447 men for over 15 years and discovered that men taking statins were less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to men who did not take statins.
Of the statin users, 38 (6 percent) were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Comparatively, non-statin users were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer, suggesting statin use may prevent development of prostate cancer.
Statin Use May Protect Against Erectile Dysfunction
Hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease have been shown to put men at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED). With this in mind, Mayo Clinic researchers studied 1,480 men from the Olmsted County cohort to determine if men who used statins were less likely to develop erectile dysfunction, compared to men who did not use statins.
However, statins were associated with a decreased risk of ED among older men (>60 years). Men in this age category who used statins were less likely to develop ED, compared to older men who did not use statins.
Statin Use May Prevent Prostate Enlargement
Benign prostatic enlargement affects one in four men ages 40 to 50 and almost half of 70- to 80-year-old men. The condition is most often diagnosed when men visit their physicians due to urinary problems prompted by prostate enlargement. Mayo Clinic researchers have found that taking statins may prevent or delay benign prostatic enlargement.
Of the 2,447 men studied, 729 (30 percent) were statin users; researchers found that statin users were 63 percent less likely to develop lower urinary tract problems and 57 percent less likely to develop an enlarged prostate.
The researchers note that further studies, particularly clinical trials, are necessary to determine whether taking statins might prevent development of this common condition.