Use of Calcium Channel Blockers and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Population-based Cohort Study

Epidemiology. 2016 Jul;27(4):594-601. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000483.


Background: Several observational studies have associated use of calcium channel blockers with an increased risk of breast cancer, but this association remains controversial. The objective of this study was to determine whether these drugs are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer overall, and to assess whether this risk varies with cumulative duration of use.

Methods: We identified a cohort of 273,152 women newly treated with antihypertensive drugs between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2009, followed until 31 December 2010, using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We treated calcium channel blocker use as a time-varying variable, and lagged exposure by 1 year for latency considerations and to minimize reverse causality. We used time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models to estimate adjusted hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals of incident breast cancer associated with use of calcium channel blockers overall and by cumulative duration of use (<5, 5-10, and ≥10 years).

Results: During 1,567,104 person-years of follow-up, 4,520 women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer (incidence rate: 2.9 per 1,000 per year). Compared with use of other antihypertensive drugs, use of calcium channel blockers was not associated with increased risk of breast cancer overall (hazard ratio: 0.97, 95% confidence interval: 0.91, 1.03). Similarly, there was no evidence of a duration-response relationship in terms of cumulative duration of use (P trend = 0.26).

Conclusions: The results of this large population-based study indicate that long-term use of calcium channel blockers is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers

Grant support