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Cholesterol medication may reduce risk of prostate cancer

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Men who take statin medications to lower their cholesterol may also be less likely to receive a positive PSA test for prostate cancer, according to a new study from a group of government researchers.

Statins are used by millions of men to bring their cholesterol back to healthy levels. Given the fact that so many individuals take them, an additional protective effect could have a major impact on the health of a large percentage of the population.

Investigators from the Prostate Cancer Research Program, a division of the Congressionally Directed Research Program, reviewed the medical records of 55,875 men who were being treated at for heart problems at VA hospitals. The results showed a strong protective effect for statins.

Those who were taking the medications were 30 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Furthermore, their chances of being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer were reduced by 60 percent.

"Although prostate cancer is commonly diagnosed, few risk factors for high-grade prostate cancer are known and few prevention strategies exist," said Wildon Farwell, MD, Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. "Learning more about the relationship between statins and prostate cancer may provide important clues into the basic biology of prostate cancer."

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