Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle
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Korean Study Examines Potential Anticancer Effects of Statins in Thyroid Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2021

According to findings presented in Scientific Reports, previous use of statins may be related to a decreased rate of thyroid cancer when comorbidities are adjusted for in a population of South Korean patients. This association seemed to be consistent across many subgroups and for lipophilic statin use but not in women or for those with hydrophilic statin use, concluded Hyo Geun Choi, MD, of Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, South Korea, and colleagues.

“The negative association of previous statin use with thyroid cancer was consistent in the < 60-year-old male population and other subgroups by covariates,” the authors said.

In this study, the authors used patient data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service–Health Screening Cohort. The authors matched 5,510 patients with thyroid cancer with 22,004 patients for age, sex, income, and region of residence. They examined statin use over a period of 2 years.

The authors found that those with thyroid cancer had more days of previous statin use than those without cancer (181.2 days vs. 64.3 days, respectively). However, they noted that although the odds of previous statin use for thyroid cancer were high in the crude model (odds ratio = 1.10), they were low in the adjusted model (odds ratio = 0.89).

Male patients younger than age 60 were found to have had lower odds of thyroid cancer based on previous statin use, but these same findings were not seen in older men (> 60) and in any subgroup of women.

Of note, study limitations included the fact that the duration of status use may have yielded some variations among participants. In addition, the study did not explore the adverse effects of statins, such as liver dysfunction and renal failure. Consequently, “future studies are warranted to delineate the current limitations,” the investigators concluded.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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