Background/Aims - Statins have been postulated to lower the risk of colorectal neoplasia. No studies have examined any possible chemopreventive effect of statins in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) undergoing colorectal cancer (CRC) surveillance. This study examined the association of statin exposure with dysplasia and CRC in patients with IBD undergoing dysplasia surveillance colonoscopies.
Methods - A cohort of patients with IBD undergoing colonoscopic surveillance for dysplasia and CRC at a single academic medical center were studied. The inclusion criteria were IBD involving the colon for ≥8 years (or any colitis duration if associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis [PSC]) and at least two colonoscopic surveillance exams. The exclusion criteria were CRC or high-grade dysplasia (HGD) prior to or at enrollment, prior colectomy, or limited (<30%) colonic disease. The primary outcome was the frequency of dysplasia and/or CRC in statin-exposed versus nonexposed patients.
Results - A total of 642 patients met the inclusion criteria (57 statin-exposed and 585 nonexposed). The statin-exposed group had a longer IBD duration, longer follow-up period, and more colonoscopies but lower inflammatory scores, less frequent PSC and less use of thiopurines and biologics. There were no differences in low-grade dysplasia, HGD, or CRC development during the follow-up period between the statin-exposed and nonexposed groups (21.1%, 5.3%, 1.8% vs 19.2%, 2.9%, 2.9%, respectively). Propensity score analysis did not alter the overall findings.
Conclusions - In IBD patients undergoing surveillance colonoscopies, statin use was not associated with reduced dysplasia or CRC rates. The role of statins as chemopreventive agents in IBD remains controversial.