But there is an inherent problem with studying this subject, pointed out Dr. John C. LaRosa, president of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City.
"If statins prolong life and you don't die of heart disease, you're going to die of something else," he said. "How are you going to separate an increased risk of cancer caused by statins from the effect that statins have on coronary disease, allowing you to live longer so that a growing malignancy can declare itself clinically?
"I think we may be coming to an issue that we may never know for sure," he added.
Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in the United States.
Head to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on cholesterol.
SOURCES: John C. LaRosa, M.D., president, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, New York City; Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., past president, American Heart Association and director, Mount Sinai Heart, New York City; study abstract, Nov. 18, 2010, American Heart Association meeting, Chicago, Ill.
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