Purpose: We evaluated the chemopreventive effect of statins on colon cancer in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and identified the statin exerting the strongest chemopreventive effect. Methods: Using the National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified patients who received a COPD diagnosis in Taiwan between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2012, and included them in the study cohort. Each patient was followed to assess the colon cancer risk and protective factors. A propensity score was derived using a logistic regression model to estimate the effect of statins by accounting for covariates predicted during the intervention (statins). To examine the dose-response relationship, we categorized statin doses into four groups in each cohort [<28, 28-90, 91-365, and > 365 cumulative defined daily dose]. Results: Compared with the statin nonusers, the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for colon cancer decreased in the statin users (aHR = 0.52, 95% confidence interval = 0.44, 0.62). Hydrophilic statins exerted a stronger preventive effect against colon cancer. Regarding the statin type, lovastatin, pravastatin, and fluvastatin nonsignificantly reduced the colon cancer risk in the patients with COPD. Compared with the statin nonusers, the aHRs for colon cancer decreased in the individual statin users (rosuvastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin: aHRs = 0.28, 0.64, and 0.65, respectively). In the sensitivity analysis, statins dose-dependently reduced the colon cancer risk. Conclusions: Statins dose-dependently exert significant chemopreventive effects on colon cancer in patients with COPD, with rosuvastatin exerting the largest chemopreventive effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65270-65283
Number of pages14
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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