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Ann Epidemiol. 2001 Nov;11(8):534-42.

Hypertension, heart rate, use of antihypertensives, and incident prostate cancer.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.



Recent studies have reported conflicting results on a possible relationship between hypertension, heart rate, and prostate cancer. A model has been developed suggesting that high blood pressure and high heart rate may both be markers for increased central sympathetic nervous activity, which may result in androgen-mediated stimulation of prostate cancer growth.


In this study we examined the associations between hypertension, heart rate, use of antihypertensive medications, and incident prostate cancer in a cohort of 2442 men. Data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), an NHLBI-sponsored observational study of adults age 65 or older in four U.S. communities, were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression. Seated systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured using a standardized protocol at the initial clinical examination and annually at follow-up visits. Medications data were transcribed by trained interviewers from prescription medication containers brought into the clinic by participants.


A total of 209 cases of incident prostate cancer were identified from either an ICD-9 code of 185 in hospital medical records (n = 130) or by self-report from annual surveillance interviews (n = 79). An average of 5.6 years of follow-up was available for analyses. No associations between blood pressure measures at entry into the study and prostate cancer were found, although these results may have been affected by subsequent treatment of hypertension. An association between resting heart rate (HR) equal to or greater than 80 beats per minute and incident prostate cancer was found compared to men with a rate of less than 60 beats per minute (HR: 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-2.5). An inverse association was found between risk of incident prostate cancer and use of any antihypertensive medication (HR: 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5-0.9). A test of heterogeneity found no difference between use of the specific classes of antihypertensive medication and the association with prostate cancer risk.


These data tend to support the hypothesized causal pathway between vascular disease markers and prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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