London: Cholesterol-lowering statins, which are taken every day by millions of people to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, has now been shown to dramatically cut the chance of developing deadly liver cancer, according to a new research.
The pills are a cheap and effective medicine taken by at least eight million Britons to cut their levels of artery-clogging cholesterol and protect them against heart attacks, heart disease and stroke, the Daily Express reported.
The research by scientists from the University of Milan, found that taking statins on a regular basis lowered the chance of developing a tumour by more than 40 percent, compared to people who were not taking the medication.
Experts are already calling for all 50+ people to be routinely prescribed statins to ward off a host of chronic and potentially fatal conditions, even if they are deemed at low risk.
The experts have said that giving statins to an extra five million people will cut heart attacks and strokes by 10,000 a year and save at least 2,000 lives.
For the study, the researchers combined the findings from five previous studies and found that those on the drugs, were around 42 percent less likely to fall victim to liver cancer compared to people who were not taking statins every day.
It is not clear how the drugs may help protect against this specific type of tumour.
In a report on their findings, the Italian researchers said, “Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality and its rates have recently been increasing in central and northern Europe.
“This analysis suggests a favourable effect of statins on the disease,” they said.
The study is published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.