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Meta-analysis says low LDL cholesterol may be associated with greater risk of cancer

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:177
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    Patients with low concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, lowered as a result of taking statins, are at significantly more risk of being diagnosed as having cancer compared with patients with higher concentrations of the cholesterol, according to a meta-analysis of 23 large studies of statins (Journalof the American College of Cardiology 2007;5:409-18).

    The analysis found one more case of newly diagnosed cancer per 1000 patients with low achieved LDL cholesterol concentrations who were taking statin treatment (below 100 mg/dl) compared with patients with higher concentrations of the cholesterol (100-150 mg/dl). US guidelines recommend 100 mg/dl.

    The study set out to investigate why and how statins sometimes increase concentrations of liver enzymes and cause rhabdomyolysis. Results showed that raised liver enzymes were significantly related to higher doses of statins. The rate of raised liver …

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