Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and breast cancer

Arch Intern Med. 2000 Feb 14;160(3):349-53. doi: 10.1001/archinte.160.3.349.


Background: The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors has been linked to a decreased risk of developing cancer, and longer-term use of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) has been associated with an increased risk of developing cancer in general and breast cancer in particular.

Methods: Using data from the General Practice Research Database, we conducted a large case-control analysis. Previous exposure to ACE inhibitors, CCBs, and beta-blockers was compared between 3706 postmenopausal women who were diagnosed with incident breast cancer between 1992 and 1997 and 14155 matched-control women.

Results: Compared with nonusers of antihypertensive drugs, women who used ACE inhibitors (odds ratio [OR], 1.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-1.5), CCBs (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.7-1.2), or beta-blockers (OR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.8-1.2) for 5 or more years were not at an increased or decreased risk of developing breast cancer (adjusted for smoking and body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters]). The risk of breast cancer did not differ between users of different ACE inhibitors or different CCBs (dihydropyridines, diltiazem hydrochloride, and verapamil hydrochloride) or between users of short-acting (OR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.7-1.4) or sustained-release (OR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.8-1.3) nifedipine preparations.

Conclusion: The findings of this large case-control analysis do not support the hypothesis that longer-term use of ACE inhibitors or CCBs affects the risk of developing breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / adverse effects*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Calcium Channel Blockers