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Cholesterol lowering drugs, cancer risk not supported with evidence

Armen Hareyan's picture

No link between cholesterol-lowering medication and increased cancer risk.

Scientists in Oxford published data last week from the ongoing SHARP and IMPROVE-IT clinical trials, which shows no evidence for a link between cholesterol-lowering medication and an increased risk of cancer.

The data was collected in response to evidence previously reported from the SEAS trial – also published today – which suggested that such a link did exist.

Dr Mike Knapton, Director of Prevention and Care at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said:

“There is no suggestion that statins increase the risk of cancer.

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“The combined evidence of all data on cancer and ezetimibe in combination with a statin shows no increased risk of developing cancer.

“The data from the big trials are encouraging but the evidence is not yet conclusive, because many of the patients studied have been followed-up for a relatively short period of time so far.

“Because one study did show a cancer risk, it is crucial that others continue and are monitored closely to definitively confirm or refute any link.

"People should be reassured that drug regulators will act quickly if robust evidence of risk to patient health appears.

“If you have been prescribed ezetimibe you should continue to take it. If you have concerns about side effects of this or other medication, you should talk to your doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits."

For more information please call the BHF press office on 020 7487 7172 or 07764 290381 (out of office hours) or email [email protected]

- The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.