NEW YORK, August 15 (Praxis Press). Animal studies and some cohort studies in humans have raised concerns about the carcinogenicity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, and the results of clinical trials are inconclusive. Blais and colleagues compared the incidence of cancer in 6,721 patients age 65 years or older taking either HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or bile acid-binding resins. With a median follow-up of 2.7 years, 542 patients in the cohort developed first malignancies. When compared with patients taking bile acid-binding resins, patients taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors were 28% less likely to be diagnosed with any cancers. With the exception of lymphoma, use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors was not associated or was inversely associated with the incidence of site-specific cancers. These findings support the safety of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and suggest that these drugs may even protect against certain cancers.

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