For women with early breast cancer receiving anthracyclines or trastuzumab, statin treatment is associated with a reduced risk for heart failure hospital visits, according to a study just presented at the virtual meeting of the American College of Cardiology together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

David Bobrowski, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study involving women aged ≥66 years diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in Ontario from 2007 to 2017. Those receiving anthracyclines or trastuzumab in the year following diagnosis were studied separately. Statin-treated women were propensity score-matched with unexposed women in each cohort.

The analyses included 723 statin-discordant pairs of anthracycline-treated women and 399 pairs of trastuzumab-treated patients. The researchers found that in both cohorts, the risk for heart failure hospital visits was significantly lower with statin exposure, with cause-specific hazard ratios of 0.42 and 0.34 in the anthracycline and trastuzumab cohorts, respectively.

“Declines in left ventricle function can be predictive of heart failure, but overt heart failure gives a more clear-cut outcome that carries more relevance to cancer patients and their physicians,” Bobrowski said in a statement. “The findings provide impetus for future prospective trials to determine whether initiating a statin before receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy or trastuzumab can effectively prevent cardiotoxic events.”