Association between captopril, other antihypertensive drugs and risk of prostate cancer

Prostate. 2004 Jan 1;58(1):50-6. doi: 10.1002/pros.10294.


Background: There has been some debate on the existence of an association between hypertension, antihypertensive medications and cancer risk.

Methods: We performed a nested case-control study to assess the association between the risk of prostate cancer and the use of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor captopril, and other antihypertensive drugs. We used data from the General Practice Research Database in UK.

Results: We found an incidence rate of prostate cancer of 1.61 per 1,000 person-years among male patients aged 50-79 years old. Patients with a history of benign prostatic hyperplasia and/or prostatism carried a two-fold greater risk of prostate cancer than those without such antecedents. None of the other studied co-morbidities were associated with prostate cancer. We found that users of captopril had a relative risk of 0.7 (95% CI: 0.4-1.2) to develope prostate cancer. None of the other studied individual ACE-inhibitors shared a similar effect with the one observed for captopril.

Conclusions: No clear association was apparent between the use of antihypertensive drugs and prostate cancer. However, specific focus on users of captopril showed a lower risk of subsequent prostate cancer. Further research is needed to explore this association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / adverse effects
  • Captopril / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diuretics / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Captopril