Statins May be Beneficial After Radiation to Thorax, Head, Neck

Statin use tied to reduction in stroke incidence for cardiac patients with thorax and head or neck cancer

HealthDay News – For cardiac patients with thorax and head or neck cancer, statin use after radiation therapy is associated with a significant reduction in stroke incidence and a trend toward reduced cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, according to a study published online June 19 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Jacinthe Boulet, MD, from McGill University Health Center in Montreal, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 5718 cardiac patients with thorax and head or neck cancer who had undergone radiotherapy between 2000 and 2011 (1552 nonstatin users and 4166 statin users). The primary outcome of interest was a composite of cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events.

The researchers found that the crude event rate was 10.31 and 9.03% for nonusers and statin users, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.10; P =.3451). Statin use postradiotherapy correlated with a nonsignificant relative risk reduction but a strong trend toward reducing the primary outcome after adjustment for multiple variables (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.04; P =.0811). For the outcome of stroke incidence alone, the use of statins was associated with a significant reduction (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.98; P =.0368).

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“Our study demonstrated that statin therapy could be favorable even with the competing risks of cancer and cancer-related mortality in patients who received radiation therapy,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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