Mortality and Recurrence Risk in Relation to the Use of Lipid-Lowering Drugs in a Prospective Breast Cancer Patient Cohort

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Lipid-lowering drugs are used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Statins are the most commonly used lipid-lowering drugs. Evidence from preclinical and observational studies suggests that statins might improve the prognosis of breast cancer patients. We analyzed data from the German MARIEplus study, a large prospective population-based cohort of patients aged 50 and older, who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2001 and 2005. For overall mortality, breast-cancer specific mortality, and non-breast-cancer mortality, we included 3189 patients with invasive breast cancer stage I-IV, and for recurrence risk 3024 patients with breast cancer stage I-III. We used Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association with self-reported lipid-lowering drug use at recruitment. We stratified by study region, tumor grade, and estrogen/progesterone receptor status, and adjusted for age, tumor size, nodal status, metastases (stage I-IV only), menopausal hormone treatment, mode of detection, radiotherapy, and smoking. Mortality analyses were additionally adjusted for cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and body-mass index. During a median follow-up of 5.3 years, 404 of 3189 stage I-IV patients died, and 286 deaths were attributed to breast cancer. Self-reported use of lipid-lowering drugs was non-significantly associated with increased non-breast cancer mortality (Hazard ratio (HR) 1.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88-2.52) and increased overall mortality (HR 1.21, 95% CI 0.87-1.69) whereas no association with breast cancer-specific mortality was found (HR 1.04, 0.67-1.60). Restricted to stage I-III breast cancer patients, 387 recurrences occurred during a median follow-up of 5.4 years. We found lipid-lowering drug use to be non-significantly associated with a reduced risk of recurrence (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.54-1.24) and of breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.52-1.49). Although compatible with previous findings of an improved prognosis associated with statin use, our results do not provide clear supportive evidence for an association with lipid-lowering drug use due to imprecise estimates. © 2013 Nickels et al.




Nickels, S., Vrieling, A., Seibold, P., Heinz, J., Obi, N., Flesch-Janys, D., & Chang-Claude, J. (2013). Mortality and Recurrence Risk in Relation to the Use of Lipid-Lowering Drugs in a Prospective Breast Cancer Patient Cohort. PLoS ONE, 8(9).

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free