Author Mark Moyad, MD, has coined the expression “Heart healthy is prostate healthy.” At a recent speaking engagement for the physicians at New Jersey Urology, Dr. Moyad spoke of nutrition, overall health and its relationship to mortality from all causes – including prostate cancer. For example, statins (which lower cholesterol levels in the blood) may, for some patients, be both heart healthy and prostate healthy.
A group from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports support for this statement. Reports found that men who were taking androgen deprivation therapy (also known as hormonal therapy) for prostate cancer not only had improved cancer-specific survival, but also overall survival. Dr. I. Anderson-Carter et al published an article titled “The Impact of Statins in Combination with Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer: A Large Observational Study” in the February 2019 Journal of Urologic Oncology.
The study involved a retrospective review of records of more than 87,000 men on hormonal (or androgen deprivation) therapy for advanced prostate cancer. Out of those men, the patients who were also taking statins (more than 53,000) had a significantly longer average survival rate than those who did not. In fact, according to the report, not only was statin use associated with a 44% decreased risk of death from prostate cancer, but it was also associated with a 34% decreased risk of death from any cause.
These findings were true even after adjusting for possible confounding information related to age, race, PSA blood test results and Gleason score of the tumor (the appearance of the cells within the tumor which usually correlates with the aggressiveness of the tumor) as well as the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). The CCI predicts one-year mortality for patients who may have other medical conditions such as heart disease or stroke.
The authors acknowledge the limitations of their report and conclude by stating that statins are “inexpensive, well-tolerated medications that offer a promising adjunct to ADT but require further prospective studies.”