The researchers noted, however, the benefits of the drugs seemed to fade after two years.
"We don't yet understand the mechanisms that might be causing this," Muller said in the news release. "Some have suggested that statins may have anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation has been linked to prostate growth, but this needs further study."
One expert said the findings were interesting, but it's too soon to advise a statin as a preventive measure against enlarged prostate.
"Studies such as these are intriguing because we do not yet know the reason prostates enlarge as men age," said Dr. Warren Bromberg, chief of the division of urology and director of the Prostate Cancer Program at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "There are likely multiple factors that may lead to prostate growth, including genetic, environmental, and as the article points out, dietary or behavioral."
The reduction in prostate growth linked to statin use was "small," Bromberg added, and it also seemed temporary.
"Because statins may be associated with significant side effects, I would advise caution in taking such medications strictly to prevent prostate growth," he said.
The study authors noted that men's lifestyles, including diet and exercise, affect their prostate health as well as cholesterol levels. The study was able to show an association between statin use and reduced prostate growth, but it could not prove cause-and-effect.
Still, the findings do shed light on prostate health generally, Muller said.
"Prostate enlargement was once considered an inexorable consequence of aging and genetics, but there is growing awareness that prostate g
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