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BMC Cancer. 2019 Mar 27;19(1):270. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5493-8.

Cardiovascular medication use and risks of colon cancer recurrences and additional cancer events: a cohort study.

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Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA, 98101, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA, 98101, USA.
School of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 98195, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research, 2550 S Parker Rd Suite 200, Aurora, Colorado, 80014, USA.
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 604 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.



Cardiovascular medications may be associated with cancer development, but little is known about their association with cancer recurrence. Medications such as statins and antihypertensives may be commonly used among colon cancer survivors, who are, on average, diagnosed in their mid-60s. We described the associations between statins and antihypertensive medications and colon cancer recurrence in a large, population-based study.


We conducted a cohort study among adults with stage I-IIIA colon cancer diagnosed in 1995-2014 in two Kaiser Permanente regions, Colorado and Washington. Statin and antihypertensive use were obtained from electronic pharmacy dispensing data. People were classified as medication users on the date of their first dispensing after cohort entry, which started 90 days after completing cancer treatment, continuing through the earliest of death, health plan disenrollment, or chart abstraction. We collected outcome information from medical record abstraction and tumor registries on colon cancer recurrences and second primary cancers. Using Cox proportional hazards multivariable models, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for colon cancer recurrences and any cancer event (recurrences and new primaries at any anatomic site) comparing medication users to non-users.


Among 2039 people, 937 (46%) used statins and 1425 (70%) used antihypertensives at any point during a median of 4.9 years of follow-up; 460 people had any additional cancer event, including 152 with a colon cancer recurrence. Statin use was not associated with colon cancer recurrence (HR = 1.09, 95%CI = 0.65-1.85) or any cancer event (HR = 1.12, 95%CI = 0.85-1.47), nor was antihypertensive use associated with recurrence (HR = 0.73, 95%CI = 0.44-1.21) or any cancer event (HR = 0.93, 95%CI = 0.70-1.24).


Our results suggest no association between cardiovascular medication use and the risk of recurrence or any additional cancer, and may provide reassurance to colon cancer survivors.


Antihypertensive; Colon cancer; Recurrence; Statin

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