Statin use is associated to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer: A meta-analysis

Livia Archibugi, Paolo Giorgio Arcidiacono, Gabriele Capurso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies investigating the association between statin use and pancreatic cancer (PDAC) risk for a possible chemopreventive effect gathered heterogeneous results. Aims: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to clarify this association. Methods: Comprehensive literature search of articles published up to February 2018, including case-control (CC),cohort studies (C), randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing association between statin use and PDAC risk. Studies had to report odds ratio (OR)/relative risk (RR), estimates with 95% confidence interval (CI), or provide data for their calculation. Pooled ORs with 95%CIs were calculated using random effects model, publication bias through Begg and Mazumdar test and heterogeneity by I2 value. Results: 27 studies(13 CC, 9C, 5 RCTs) for a total population of 11,975 PDAC/3,433,175 controls contributed to the analysis. The overall pooled result demonstrated a reduced PDAC risk among statin users (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.60–0.82; p < 0.0001), compared to non-users. Sensitivity analyses suggested the risk reduction to be more important in CC studies, studies conducted in Asia and Europe, in males and atorvastatin users. No publication bias found. Conclusions: The present meta-analysis suggests that statin use is associated with an overall PDAC risk reduction of 30%. Further studies are needed to clarify the association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Chemoprevention
  • Meta-analysis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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