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The benefits of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have been reinforced by research showing that men in the “normal” range are 60% less likely to suffer aggressive prostate cancer.
The findings, published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, are the result a study of 5,586 men in the US aged 55 and older.
Over a three-year period, of the 1,251 men diagnosed with prostate cancer, those with “normal” cholesterol – below 200 milligrams per decilitre – had a 59% reduced risk of developing aggressive tumours.
However, the researchers found that cholesterol levels appear to have no impact on overall prostate cancer risk, only on the chances of suffering an aggressive form of the disease.
According to study leader Dr Elizabeth Platz, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, cholesterol may influence signalling pathways that affect the survival of cancer cells.
She says that targeting cholesterol metabolism may provide new treatments for prostate cancer.
Copyright Press Association 2009