A new study has linked low cholesterol levels induced by drugs such as statins to cancer, US scientists have revealed.
The research undertaken on over 41,000 patients found one additional incident of cancer per 1,000 patients with low levels of LDL, called "bad" cholesterol, compared to those with higher levels of LDL.
Results and further data taken from the study will be published at the end of the month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
But according to the scientists who led the research, the study does not necessarily prove causation and further research will be needed to investigate the possible association between low cholesterol and cancer.
"The demonstrated benefits of statins in lowering the risk of heart disease remain clear; however, certain aspects of lowering LDL with statins remain controversial and merit further research," said Dr Richard Karas, professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.
In a statement responding to the findings, charity Cancer Research UK was itself wary of the study, with information officer Dr Alison Roos arguing that more research would have to be done before any firm conclusions could be made.