Calcium channel blockers, cancer incidence, and cancer mortality in a cohort of U.S. Women

The Nurses' Health Study

Authors

  • Karin B. Michels Sc.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02146
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  • Bernard A. Rosner Ph.D.,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Alexander M. Walker M.D.,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Meir J. Stampfer M.D.,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • JoAnn E. Manson M.D.,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Graham A. Colditz M.D.,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Charles H. Hennekens M.D.,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Walter C. Willett M.D.

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Some studies have suggested that the use of calcium channel blockers may increase the risk of cancer. A possible association of the use of calcium channel blockers with cancer incidence and cancer mortality was addressed using data from the Nurses' Health Study.

METHODS

In this study, a total of 18,635 female nurses reported regularly taking at least 1 of 4 cardiovascular medications in 1988: diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Cancer incidence and cancer deaths were ascertained until 1994.

RESULTS

During 6 years of follow-up, 852 women were newly diagnosed with cancer and 335 women died of cancer. Women who reported the use of calcium channel blockers had no increased risk of newly diagnosed cancer compared with those taking other cardiovascular drugs (relative risk = 1.02; 95% CI 0.83-1.26). The relative risk of dying from cancer associated with the self-reported use of calcium channel blockers was 1.25 (95% CI 0.91-1.72). Relative risks were adjusted for the following self-reported factors: age; weight; height; cholesterol level; systolic and diastolic blood pressure; smoking; alcohol intake; physical activity; menopausal status; postmenopausal hormone use; aspirin use; and history of diabetes, cancer, stroke, myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, angina, and hypertension. Regarding site specific cancer incidence and mortality, only lung cancer incidence was somewhat increased (RR = 1.61; 95% CI 0.88-2.96).

CONCLUSIONS

These data suggest no important increase in overall cancer incidence or cancer mortality related to the self-reported use of calcium channel blockers. Cancer 1998;83:2003-2007. © 1998 American Cancer Society.

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