The Risk for Lung Cancer Incidence with Calcium Channel Blockers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Victoria Rotshild, Laurent Azoulay, Majd Zarifeh, Reem Masarwa, Bruria Hirsh-Raccah, Amichai Perlman, Mordechai Muszkat, Ilan Matok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Introduction: There are conflicting findings regarding the association between the use of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and the risk of lung cancer. Considering the public health importance of lung cancer prevention, and emerging evidence of a significant biologic role of calcium channel regulation in the development of lung cancer, we conducted a meta-analysis to assess the risk of lung cancer in CCB users compared with non-CCB users. Materials and Methods: We conducted a comprehensive systematic search of leading medical databases for observational studies published up to December 2017 that examined CCB use and the risk of lung cancer. We used random-effects models to pool results. The impact of duration of CCB use on the estimated effect size was explored using random effects meta-regression. Results: Ten studies (six cohort and four case–control studies) that evaluated the overall cancer risk among 38,758 CCB users were included in the analysis. Overall risk ratio (RR) for CCB use and lung cancer was 1.15 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.32). Subgroup analysis by duration of CCB use suggested that the observed increase in lung cancer risk was driven by the results of five studies with prolonged (≥ 4 years) exposure (RR 1.18; 95% CI 1.08–1.30). Conclusions: Our analysis suggests exposure to CCBs is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Considering their widespread use, and the paucity of data on the long-term effects of chronic exposure to CCBs, these results are reason for concern and warrant further investigation. Systematic Review Registration: The protocol for this study was registered at the PROSPERO registry of systematic reviews (registry number: CRD42017056362).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding The study was partially supported by the Israel Cancer Association and Esther Blinko Fund. The study funder has no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication. All the researchers are independent of the founders.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.


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