Statin Use May Reduce Risk for Lung Cancer in Patients With IPF

A study was conducted to assess if statin use in patients with IPF can prevent development of lung cancer.

Use of statins for more than 30 days after a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has a preventive effect for lung cancer, according to study results presented at the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) 2022 Annual Meeting, held October 16 to 19, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The retrospective review included data from 2892 patients with IPF from a single center between 2009 and 2018. Of the cohort, 126 patients had lung cancer.

The cumulative incidence of lung cancer was increased among patients with IPF who were not taking statins compared with those who were using statins (P <.001). The proportion of men (85.7% vs 66.4%, P <.001), patients taking statins for longer than 30 days after IPF diagnosis (38.1% vs 21.7%, P <.001), current smokers (22.2% vs 9.3%, P <.001), and former smokers (34.1% vs 11.1%, P <.001) was greater among patients with IPF and lung cancer.

According to Cox proportional hazard analysis, statin use for longer than 30 days after IPF diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.92; P <.05), male sex (HR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.29-3.76; P <.01), former smoker (HR, 2.46; 95% CI, 1.58-3.83; P <.001), and current smoker (HR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.2-3.83; P <.001) were associated with lung cancer in patients with IPF.

After a diagnosis of lung cancer, statin use after an IPF diagnosis was associated with greater overall survival (327.8 vs 114.2 days, P =.02). Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that use of statins for longer than 30 days (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.36-0.94; P <.05) and male sex (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.23-0.95; P <.05) were associated with lung cancer mortality among patients with IPF.

“Based on this research, we can consider that regular statin use has a role to reduce the risk of lung cancer development and its mortality in IPF patients, and further prospective studies are needed to confirm,” the study authors wrote.


Lee YJ, Kang HS, Hong Y, et al. The effects of statin use on lung cancer development in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis using a clinical data warehouse. Presented at: CHEST 2022 Annual Meeting; October 16-19, 2022; Nashville, TN.