OBJECTIVE - Prior studies report statins may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer. This study investigates the association between statin use and the likelihood of having a PSA or DRE test, blood PSA levels, prostate volume, and the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. We also describe the association between statin use and prostate cancer and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) before and after controlling for prostate cancer screening indices associated with statin use.
METHODS - The Nashville Men's Health Study used a multicenter, rapid recruitment protocol to collect clinical, biologic, behavioral, and body measurement data from 2,148 men 40 years or older scheduled for diagnostic prostate biopsy. Medication use and other data were ascertained by research survey, clinical interview, and chart review.
RESULTS - Approximately 37% of participants were taking a statin. Statin use was significantly associated with a 12% lower PSA levels and 8% smaller prostate volume after controlling for age, race, BMI, WHR, aspirin use, and other comorbidity. Simvastatin was more strongly associated with prostate volume, while atorvastatin was associated with PSA. Statin use was marginally associated with increasing PSA test frequency among men with undiagnosed cancer. Statin use was not associated with the frequency or results of digital rectal exams, lower urinary tract symptom severity, high-grade (Gleason > 6) prostate cancer (OR = 0.95 (0.73, 1.24)), low-grade (Gleason = 6) prostate cancer (OR = 1.11 (0.86, 1.42)) or PIN (OR = 0.82, (0.57, 1.17)). Additional control for the number of prior PSA tests, PSA levels, and prostate volume did not alter these results.
CONCLUSION - These results suggest selective referral for biopsy associated with statin use is an essential element to address in further understanding the potential for statins to prevent prostate cancer.