Ezetimibe-Simvastatin Combo Not Linked to Cancer Risk

(HealthDay News) — Treatment with the lipid-lowering therapy ezetimibe plus simvastatin (Vytorin, Merck) is not associated with an increased risk for developing cancer or an increased risk for dying from cancer, according to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Anders Green, MD, PhD, from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues conducted a registry-based follow-up study over 21 months from the conclusion of the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) trial in order to assess new incident cancer and total mortality.

Among 1,359 subjects eligible for follow-up (73% of the original total cohort), 1,194 had no history of cancer (primary follow-up cohort). 

In this primary follow-up cohort there were 12 patients with new cancers in the combination ezetimibe and simvastatin group and 22 in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR]=0.55; 95% CI, 0.27-1.11). Over the same time period, 43 patients assigned to combination ezetimibe and simvastatin and 33 assigned to placebo died (HR=1.29; 95% CI, 0.82-2.03).

“Treatment with ezetimibe/simvastatin was not associated with an increased risk for cancer or mortality in the 21-month period after the completion of the original SEAS study,” the researchers wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Merck, which funded the study and manufactures ezetimibe and simvastatin.


  1. Green A et al. Am J Cardiol. 2014;114(10):1518-1522.