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Calcium channel blockers and breast cancer incidence: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence


Wright, CM and Moorin, RE and Chowdhury, EK and Stricker, BH and Reid, CM and Saunders, CM and Hughes, JD, Calcium channel blockers and breast cancer incidence: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence, Cancer epidemiology, 50 pp. 113-124. ISSN 1877-7821 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.canep.2017.08.012


Controversy exists regarding the potential association between taking calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and the development of breast cancer. As a positive association would have important public health implications due to the widespread use of CCBs, this study aimed to incorporate new evidence to determine whether an association is likely to exist. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library to 28 June 2016 for relevant literature. References and citing articles were checked and authors contacted as necessary. Two authors independently selected articles and extracted data. Twenty-nine studies were reviewed; 26 were non-randomised studies (NRS). Meta-analysis of study data where adjustment for 'confounding by indication' was judged to be present suggests that an association, if any, is likely to be modest in magnitude (pooled odds/risk ratio 1.09 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.15, I2=0%, 8 sub-studies; pooled hazard ratio 0.99 (95% CI 0.94-1.03, I2=35%, 9 sub-studies)). There are credible study data showing an increased relative risk with long-term use of CCBs, but the results of our meta-analysis and of meta-regression of log relative risk against minimum follow-up time are mixed. The current summative evidence does not support a clear association between taking CCBs and developing breast cancer. However, uncertainty remains, especially for long-term use and any association might not be uniform between different populations and/or breast cancer sub-types. We thus recommend further NRS in settings where CCB use is highly prevalent and population-based cancer, prescription and health-registries exist, to resolve this continuing uncertainty. PROSPERO, CRD42015026712.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:calcium channel blockers, breast neoplasms, dihydropyridines, verapamil, diltiazem
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Wright, CM (Mr Cameron Wright)
ID Code:121092
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2017-09-08
Last Modified:2018-09-11

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