London, June 5 (IANS) Women who take cholesterol-lowering drugs might have a reduced risk of death caused by cancer, suggests a new study.
During a 15-year long study, researchers tracked nearly 150,000 post-menopausal women between ages 50 and 79, of whom over 3,100 died of cancer over the period, Xinhua news agency reported.
Researchers said they found that women who reported taking statins, drugs that lower cholesterol levels, were 20 percent less likely to die of cancer during the course of the study, when all cancers were taken into account.
Previous research has suggested that cholesterol, which statins targets, helps cancer to spread.
However, researchers said the study did not prove statins were the reason why people were less likely to die from cancer, and that more research was needed.
It is still not sure if the link shown between a decreased risk of dying from cancer, and statin use, is due to the drugs themselves, or some other reason, said Richard Roope from the Cancer Research UK.
Further studies, including the Cancer Research UK-funded LungStar trial, are exploring whether the cholesterol-lowering drugs could help treat cancer.
The study was released by the Cancer Research UK.