High levels of LDL cholesterol have been associated with a variety of health concerns, including heart disease and, most recently, prostate cancer.
As more men are prescribed statin medications to lower levels of ?bad? cholesterol, prostate cancer growth has been shown to slow due to decreased levels of testosterone.
Researchers from Duke University and Johns Hopkins University have explored whether statin medications affect not only prostate cancer growth, but also prostate-specific antigen levels in healthy men thereby posing a risk of not detecting the disease early.
The team examined 1,545 men who had been prescribed a statin between 1990 and 2006 at the Durham VA Medical Center. The men had a mean age of 60.1, median PSA of 0.92 ng/ml and mean pre-statin LDL level of 152 mg/dl. PSA changes were strongly linked with LDL changes; PSA levels declined by 1.1 percent for every 10 mg/dl decrease in LDL. Results suggest that statins influence prostate biology ? a factor that should be explored further to examine the significance that statin medications may have on prostate cancer detection.