Time-dependent propensity-matched general population study of the effects of statin use on cancer risk in an interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis cohort


Objective: To determine the effect of statins on risk of cancer in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary fibrosis.

Setting: We retrospectively enrolled patients with ILD and pulmonary fibrosis and divided them into two cohorts by statin use (statin users (n=10 036) and statin non-users (n=10 036)).

Participants: We selected patients with ILD and pulmonary fibrosis (N=53 862) from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Time-dependent Cox models were used to compare risk of cancer of propensity-matched statin users and non-users. Cumulative cancer incidence was analysed through Cox proportional regression. We calculated adjusted HRs (aHRs) and their 95% CIs for cancer after adjusting for sex, age, comorbidities, and use of inhaled corticosteroids, oral steroids and statins.

Results: Compared with statin non-users, the aHRs (95% CIs) for statin users were 0.60 (0.55 to 0.65) for cancer, 0.52 (0.35 to 0.78) for haematological malignancy, 0.52 (0.38 to 0.72) for cancer of the head and neck, 0.73 (0.59 to 0.89) for colorectal cancer, 0.34 (0.26 to 0.43) for liver cancer, 0.39 (0.23 to 0.67) for pancreatic cancer, 0.40 (0.17 to 0.96) for skin cancer, 0.67 (0.52 to 0.87) for breast cancer, 0.27 (0.14 to 0.54) for cervical cancer, 0.37 (0.30 to 0.46) for other immunological cancers, 0.73 (0.54 to 0.98) for bladder/kidney cancer and 0.88 (0.71 to 1.09) for lung cancer.

Conclusion: Statin use is associated with lower risk of cancer in the ILD and pulmonary fibrosis cohort.