Objectives To investigate statin use and pain in people with cancer aged 70 to 79 and 80 and older.
Setting Medical oncology outpatient clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Participants Individuals aged 70 and older who presented consecutively between January 2009 and June 2010 (n = 385), of whom 106 were aged 80 and older.
Measurements Participants completed a structured data collection instrument, documenting medication use, comorbidities and a general pain assessment (10-point visual analogue scale (VAS)). Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with statin use.
Results The prevalence of statin use was 35% (n = 97) in people aged 70 to 79 and 39% (n = 41) in those aged 80 and older. After adjusting for age, sex, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and analgesic use, statin use was associated with self-reported pain (VAS ≥5) (OR = 4.09, 95% CI = 1.32-12.68) in people aged 80 and older but not in those aged 70 to 79. Half of participants using statins (51% n = 70) had a palliative treatment approach. Of the 41 statin users aged 80 and older, 20 (49%) were using statins for primary prevention.
Conclusion The prevalence of statin use was similar in people aged 70 to 79 years and those aged 80 and older, with statin use associated with self-reported pain in people aged 80 and older. This highlights a potential benefit of "deprescribing" statins in older people with cancer, especially those aged 80 and older.