Wednesday, 3 September 2008

No evidence to link cholesterol-lowering drugs with cancer

Several major national newspapers today reported claims by some doctors that the drug Inegy used to treat high cholesterol could also cause cancer.

In response, we today issued a statement reporting new data from scientists in Oxford, which showed no evidence for a link between cholesterol-lowering medication and an increased risk of cancer.

Dr Mike Knapton, our Director of Prevention and Care, says: "There is no suggestion that statins increase the risk of cancer.

“The combined evidence of all data on cancer and ezetimibe in combination with a statin shows no increased risk of developing cancer.

“The data from the big trials are encouraging but the evidence is not yet conclusive, because many of the patients studied have been followed-up for a relatively short period of time so far.

“Because one study did show a cancer risk, it is crucial that others continue and are monitored closely to definitively confirm or refute any link.

"People should be reassured that drug regulators will act quickly if robust evidence of risk to patient health appears.

“If you have been prescribed ezetimibe you should continue to take it. If you have concerns about side effects of this or other medication, you should talk to your doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits."

If you have any questions about this issue you can contact our Heart HelpLine either by email here - or on 08450 70 80 70 (lines open 9pm-5pm Monday to Friday).

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