This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 2002 Dec 18;288(23):2998-3007
Study title and authors:
Major outcomes in moderately hypercholesterolemic, hypertensive patients randomized to pravastatin vs usual care: The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT-LLT).
ALLHAT Officers and Coordinators for the ALLHAT Collaborative Research Group.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12479764
This study, which lasted for 6 years, was designed to determine whether pravastatin compared with patients usual medical care, reduces death rates in patients aged 55 or older who have high cholesterol and blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. 10,355 participants were enrolled in the study and were assigned into 2 groups where they received either 40 mg of pravastatin a day or their usual medical care.
The researchers found at the end of the 6 year study:
(a) Heart disease death rates were virtually identical in both groups.
(b) Those who took statins had an 11% increased risk of death from cancer compared to those who did not take statins.
(c) Those who took statins had an 7% increased risk of suicide/homocide/accidental death compared to those who did not take statins.
The results of this study suggest that statin treatment increases the risk of death from cancer.
Links to other studies:
Statins may promote cancer in certain segments of the population
Statins raise prostate cancer risk of obese men
Young women who are treated with statins may be at increased risk for the development of breast cancer