We know statins lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. We also know that they tend to lower HDL, or "good" cholesterol, too. And we suspect that it's possible for low LDL levels to boost the risk of cancer. So, do statins increase the risk of cancer? Well, no, according to a new metanalysis published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study found that yes, statins lowered LDL and that patients with lower LDL did have a greater risk of cancer. But, their statistics showed, the statins weren't the culprit in that cancer risk. You see, the people in the studies who didn't take statins also had a higher risk of cancer if their LDL was lower. And that risk in both lower-LDL groups was roughly the same.
Still, cardiology experts said that the FDA and drugmakers should analyze their statin trial data for cancer incidence, because the possible link between very low LDL and cancer is worrisome--and therefore it might not be safe to use statins to push cholesterol to super-low levels. That could trade lower cardio risk for higher cancer risk.