Association of Bezafibrate Treatment With Reduced Risk of Cancer in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

Zaza Iakobishvili*, Tal Hasin, Robert Klempfner, Nir Shlomo, Ilan Goldenberg, Ronen Brenner, Ran Kornowski, Yariv Gerber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the association between bezafibrate, a drug used to treat hypertriglyceridemia, and long-term cancer incidence in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Patients and Methods: The study comprised 2980 patients with CAD (mean age, 60 years; 2729 [91.6%] men) who were free of cancer and were enrolled in the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention study, a double-blind trial conducted between May 1, 1990, and January 31, 1993, in 18 cardiology departments in Israel. Patients randomized to receive 400 mg of bezafibrate (n=1486) or placebo (n=1494) daily for a median of 6.2 years (range, 4.7-7.6 years) were followed up for incidence of cancer through the Israeli National Cancer Registry and all-cause death through the Population Registry of the State of Israel until December 31, 2013. Cox proportional hazards and Fine and Gray survival models were used to assess the bezafibrate-cancer association. Results: Clinical characteristics and laboratory values were well balanced between the 2 groups at the study entry. Over a median follow-up of 22.5 years (range, 21.2-23.9 years), cancer developed in 753 patients. With death considered a competing event, the cumulative incidence of cancer at the end of the follow-up was lower in the bezafibrate vs the placebo group (23.9%; 95 CI, 21.9%-26.1% vs 27.2%; 95 CI, 25.1%-29.4%; P=.04). The hazard ratio for cancer in the bezafibrate vs placebo groups was 0.86 (95% CI, 0.74-0.99). In mediation analysis, the association between bezafibrate treatment and cancer incidence was not sensitive to adjustment for on-trial lipid levels but was attenuated on adjustment for on-trial fibrinogen levels. Conclusion: Bezafibrate treatment is associated with reduced risk of cancer among patients with CAD. Fibrinogen, but not lipid lowering, is linked to this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1179
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


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