Purpose: We sought to explore the relation that has been previously reported between calcium channel blockers and an increased risk of cancer.
Subjects and methods: We followed 3,511 participants, age 65 years or older, in the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly for up to 10 years. Information about use of medications was obtained at baseline and 3 and 6 years later. Information about hospitalization for cancer, or death from cancer, was obtained from Health Care Financing Administration data and death certificates.
Results: Of the 133 users of calcium channel blockers, 16 (12%) developed cancer, compared with 548 (16%) of 3,378 nonusers (hazard ratio = 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 1.5). Adjusting for baseline and time-dependent covariates, such as race, diabetes, or blood pressure, for dose or class of calcium channel blockers, or for length of follow-up, had no effect.
Conclusions: Use of calcium channel blockers does not appear to be related to cancer risk. Earlier reports showing such a relation may have been the result of chance.