Treatment with the cholesterol-lowering statins could come with the added bonus of protecting patients from colorectal cancer, according to new research.

The trial, which was published in the current edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, included 1,953 patients with colorectal cancer and found that the use of statins for at least five years was associated with a significantly reduced relative risk of colorectal cancer, versus non-stain use. Overall, the use of statins was associated with a 47% relative reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer. However, because the absolute risk reduction is likely low, the trial authors recommend further investigation of the overall benefits of statins in preventing colorectal cancer.

Data have also suggested that treatment with statins could cut the risk of glaucoma among patients with cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol [[16/06/04e]], and the products’ use has also been associated with a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration – a disorder of the retina that can cause gradual vision loss and is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65 in many developed countries – a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease [[25/02/04c]], or delay disease progression [[10/11/04e]], and could also hold promise for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers [[21/06/04c]].