Statin use was found to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) by 60% in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 20% in patients without IBD, according data from a meta-analysis presented during the 2020 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Scientific Meeting.

Statin use was associated with a “significant” reduction in the risk for CRC in the non-IBD population, with a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.73-0.88; P <.001). There was no publication bias detected after investigators inspected the funnel plot and Egger’s Regression. A total of 52 studies (17 cohort studies, 27 case-control studies, and 8 randomized clinical trials) encompassing 11,459,306 patients were evaluated. This data aggregate included 2,123,293 statin users and 9,336,013 non-statin users.

The trend of significant risk reduction continued in a separate analysis of CRC risk and statin use in IBD populations, which included 15,342 patients with IBD, 1161 of whom used statins. The remaining 12,145 patients had not used statins.

Continue Reading

In this evaluation, statins were found to reduce the risk for CRC in a clinically meaningful matter in individuals with IBD (pooled OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.19-0.86; P = .019). However, publication bias was identified in this assessment, the authors stated. This secondary analysis included 5 observational studies, 1 of which was an unpublished abstract.

Existing evidence has indicated that chemoprevention with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly aspirin, can reduce the risk of CRC but does so with an increased risk of bleeding. “Finding a safe and effective chemopreventive agent may add to the effectiveness of current CRC preventive strategies,” the investigators, led by Kevin N. Singh, MD of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, said. Statins are the most prescribed medications worldwide and are generally well-tolerated, therefore researchers conducted the meta-analysis to determine whether statins could effectively reduce the risk of CRC.

“In this study, we conclude that statin use was associated with a 20% lower risk of CRC in non-IBD patients” the study authors stated. “Though statin use was associated with a 60% lower risk of CRC in IBD patients, prospective randomized trials are needed to confirm this association and future studies should also focus on determining whether the chemopreventive effects of statins differ between ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease patients,” they stated.


Singh KN, Yakubov S, Nadeem AJ. Statin use reduces the risk of colorectal cancer: an updated meta-analysis and systematic review. Presented at: American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; October 26-28, 2020. Abstract S0265.