Assessing the effects of beta-blockers on pancreatic cancer risk: A nested case-control study

Akram Saad*, Jeffrey Goldstein, Ofer Margalit, Einat Shacham-Shmueli, Yaacov R. Lawrence, Yu Xiao Yang, Kim A. Reiss, Talia Golan, Ronac Mamtani, Naama Halpern, Dan Aderka, Meir Mouallem, Adam Goldstein, Bruce Giantonio, Ben Boursi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Both β1- and β2-adrenoceptor proteins were detected on the cell surface of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The current study evaluated the association between beta-blocker use and pancreatic cancer risk. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in a large population representative database. Each pancreatic cancer case was matched with four controls based on age, sex, practice site, and duration of follow-up using incidence density sampling. Beta-blocker use was defined as any prescription prior to index date and was stratified into non-selective and selective β1-blockers. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for pancreatic cancer risk associated with beta-blocker use was estimated using conditional logistic regression. Results: The study included 4113 patients with pancreatic cancer and 16 072 matched controls. When compared to never users, there was no association between any beta-blocker use and pancreatic cancer risk (adjusted OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.97-1.16, P =.16). Analysis by receptor selectivity showed use of non-selective beta-blockers for more than 2 years was associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.57-1.00, P =.05). When compared to former users both users of selective β1-blockers and non-selective beta-blockers had a reduced pancreatic cancer risk (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.67-0.90, P =.001) and (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.49-0.92, P =.01), respectively. Conclusion: Beta-blocker use was not associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. However, long-term use of beta-blockers may be associated with decreased pancreatic cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-604
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • beta-blockers
  • pancreas
  • pancreatic cancer
  • pancreatic cancer risk
  • pharmacoepidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the effects of beta-blockers on pancreatic cancer risk: A nested case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this