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Statin use and the risk of renal cell carcinoma: national cohort study
  1. Yu-Ching Chou1,
  2. Chih-Hung Lin2,
  3. Chih-Shung Wong3,
  4. Wan-Yun Chou4,
  5. Jin-Yin Chang5,
  6. Chien-An Sun6
  1. 1 School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4 Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
  5. 5 Department of Medical Research, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  6. 6 Department of Public Health, Fu-Jen Catholic University College of Medicine, New Taipei City, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chien-An Sun, Department of Public Health, Fu-Jen Catholic University College of Medicine, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan; 040866{at}


Statins are a therapeutic drug with reducing plasma cholesterol levels and have been linked with potential antitumor effects. However, epidemiological studies on statin use and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk have been inconsistent. This cohort study aimed to examine this association in an Asian population. We identified patients who filled initial prescriptions for statins in the inpatient and ambulatory care order files from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2005 as the statin users cohort (n=14,067). The comparison cohort comprised of patients who had not taken any statin in the previous years prior to January 1, 1998 or had used statins for less than 28 cumulative defined daily doses between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2005 (n=56 268). The outcome of interest was pathologically verified RCC occurred between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2013. The Fine-Gray competing risk model was fitted to estimate HRs accompanying 95% CI. Patients with the use of statins had a significantly lower risk of RCC as compared with the non-users cohort, yielding an adjusted HR of 0.64 (95% CI, 0.38 to 0.87). Moreover, we found a significant inverse association between cumulative statin use and the risk of RCC. Further, the inverse association between statin use and risk of RCC was evident in both sexes. This population-based cohort study provides longitudinal evidence that the use of statins was associated with a reduced risk of RCC.

  • cancer
  • clinical research
  • prognosis

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  • C-SW and C-AS contributed equally.

  • Contributors Y-CC was responsible for study design and drafting of the manuscript. C-HL was responsible for study supervision. C-SW was responsible for resources and funding. W-YC and J-YC were responsible for statistical analysis and data curation. C-AS designed the study and directed its implementation, including quality assurance and control and final approval of manuscript. All authors commented on the draft, contributed to the interpretation of the findings and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by a grant from the Cathay General Hospital (106-CGH-FJU-10), Taipei City, Taiwan

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Since the dataset was released for research purposes and included only scrambled information on insured individuals, the requirement for written or verbal consent from patients for study was waived, while this study protocol was approved by the Ethics Review Board at the Cathay General Hospital in Taipei.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.