Another potential ‘bomb’ exploded recently, with the online publication of a study which showed that common therapies for controlling blood pressure may have an effect on the risk for breast cancer . The study, which was observational and retrospective, was based on interviews with breast cancer patients and comparable healthy controls in Seattle, USA. Women were asked whether they used antihypertensive medications and, if they did, what type, when, and for how long. The cohort included 880 women with invasive ductal breast cancer, 1027 women with invasive lobular breast cancer, and 856 women with no cancer who served as controls. Results showed that those currently taking calcium-channel blockers for more than 10 years had about 2.5 times the risk for breast cancer (both ductal and lobular) compared to healthy women, whereas the use of angiotensin II antagonists was associated with a non-significant decrease in risk, and diuretics or beta-blockers were neutral in this respect. Shorter periods of use were not associated with a change in breast cancer risk.
Department of Medicine T, Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv, Israel
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