Does pravastatin promote cancer in elderly patients? A meta-analysis

Bonovas, Stefanos; Sitaras, Nikolaos M.
February 2007
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;2/27/2007, Vol. 176 Issue 5, p649
Academic Journal
Background: An increase in the incidence of cancer among elderly people assigned to pravastatin therapy has been reported in a randomized controlled trial; however, this finding has been attributed to chance. Our aim was to assess the effect of pravastatin therapy on cancer risk and to examine whether the effect varies according to age by performing a detailed meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis of randomized controlled trials. Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature search for relevant studies published before February 2006. Before analysis, the selected studies were evaluated for publication bias and heterogeneity. Pooled relative risk estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using fixed- and random-effects models. Meta-regression analysis was performed to examine the impact of age on the study estimates of the relative risk of cancer due to pravastatin therapy. Results: Twelve trials that investigated the use of pravastatin therapy for cardiovascular outcomes were included in the analysis (n = 42 902). Although the overall association between pravastatin use and cancer was not statistically significant in the fixed-effects (risk ratio [RR] 1.06, 95% CI 0.99 - 1.13) or random-effects model (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.97 - 1.14), the meta-regression analysis showed that the age of study participants significantly modified the effect of pravastatin therapy on cancer risk (p = 0.006). Specifically, this analysis showed that pravastatin therapy was associated with an increasing risk of cancer as age increased. This finding was remarkably robust in the sensitivity analysis. Interpretation: Our findings suggest an association between pravastatin therapy and cancer in elderly patients. However, given the importance of this potential association, further verification is warranted.


Related Articles

  • Pravastatin linked to increased risk of cancer in elderly.  // Reactions Weekly;4/21/2007, Issue 1148, p1 

    The article focuses on the association between pravastatin and risk of cancer in elderly patients according to a study. The study found out there is no significant association between the use of pravastatin and cancer risks if the patient's age is disregarded. However, as age increased the risk...

  • Functional Limitations in Elderly Female Cancer Survivors. Sweeney, Carol; Schmitz, Kathryn H.; Lazovich, DeAnn; Virnig, Beth A.; Wallace, Robert B.; Folsom, Aaron R. // JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute;4/19/2006, Vol. 98 Issue 8, p521 

    Background: The elderly population, including many who are long-term cancer survivors, is increasing. Aspects of quality of life in elderly cancer survivors are not well understood. Methods: Subjects were women who enrolled in a population-based cohort study in 1986. At follow-up in 1997, 25719...

  • Predictors of survival among older adults with ependymoma. Amirian, E.; Armstrong, Terri; Gilbert, Mark; Scheurer, Michael // Journal of Neuro-Oncology;Mar2012, Vol. 107 Issue 1, p183 

    The biological process of aging encompasses a multitude of complex physiological and lifestyle changes that may alter the way typical prognostic factors affect survival among older ependymoma patients. Because very little is known about the clinical significance of traditional prognostic factors...

  • Incident venous thromboembolic events in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). Freeman, Dilys J.; Robertson, Michele; Brown, E. Ann; Rumley, Ann; Tobias, Edward S.; Frölich, Marijke; Slagboom, P. Eline; Jukema, J. Wouter; Craen, Anton J.M. de; Sattar, Naveed; Ford, Ian; Gaw, Allan; Greer, Ian A.; Lowe, Gordon D.O.; Stott, David J. // BMC Geriatrics;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p8 

    Background: Venous thromboembolic events (VTE), including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, are common in older age. It has been suggested that statins might reduce the risk of VTE however positive results from studies of middle aged subjects may not be generalisable to elderly...

  • A new resource for older consumers.  // Active Living;Jan2010, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p9 

    The article announces that the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults has published an evidence-based consumer handout about the benefits of physical activity for older adult cancer survivors in Canada.

  • The Age Old Excuse campaign.  // Nursing Older People;Oct2012, Vol. 24 Issue 8, p7 

    The article offers information on the age old excuse campaign, aimed at ensuring that old people receive most appropriate cancer treatment suited for them.

  • Cardiovascular Late Effects and the Ongoing Care of Adult Cancer Survivors. Carver, Joseph R.; Ng, Andrea; Meadows, Anna T.; Vaughn, David J. // Disease Management;Feb2008, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1 

    The author reflects on the ongoing care of adult cancer survivors. He argues that the advancement in the treatment and screening strategies for several cancers have resulted to prolonged survival of more than 10 million Americans with cancer. He also notes that an estimation of 65% old adults...

  • Treating the elderly badly. Hobson, Katherine // U.S. News & World Report;8/11/2003, Vol. 135 Issue 4, p49 

    Reports that older cancer patients usually receive poor treatment in the United States. Studies showing that older cancer patients are less likely to be referred to oncologists, to get chemotherapy or to be involved in clinical trials of new drugs; Statement that ageism is the reason why older...

  • Adults thirsty for weight- loss/nutrition drinks. JOHNSEN, MICHAEL // Drug Store News;6/27/2011, Vol. 33 Issue 8, p112 

    The article presents the reasons for increase in demand for the adult nutrition drinks including the growing needs of adults and seniors for protein and supplementation and the increasing number of cancer patients coming out of surgery, who are put on nutrition drinks.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics