Calcium antagonists and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease: A cohort study of 11,575 patients

Shimon Braun*, Valentina Boyko, Solomon Behar, Henrietta Reicher-Reiss, Avi Shotan, Zwi Schlesinger, Tiberio Rosenfeld, Abraham Palant, Aharon Friedensohn, Shlomo Laniado, Uri Goldbourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. This study sought to establish the risk ratio for mortality associated with calcium antagonists in a large population of patients with chronic coronary artery disease. Background. Recent reports have suggested that the use of short-acting nifedipine may cause an increase in overall mortality in patients with coronary artery disease and that a similar effect may be produced by other calcium antagonists, in particular those of the dihydropyridine type. Methods. Mortality data were obtained for 11,575 patients screened for the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention study (5,843 with and 5,732 without calcium antagonists) after a mean follow-up period of 3.2 years. Results. There were 495 deaths (8.5%) in the calcium antagonist group compared with 410 in the control group (7.2%). The age-adjusted risk ratio for mortality was 1.08 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.95 to 1.24). After adjustment for the differences between the groups in age and gender and the prevalence of previous myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, hypertension, New York Heart Association functional class, peripheral vascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and current smoking, the adjusted risk ratio declined to 0.97 (95% CI 0.84 to 1.11). After further adjustment for concomitant medication, the risk ratio was estimated at 0.94 (95% CI 0.82 to 1.08). Conclusions. The current analysis does not support the claim that calcium antagonist therapy in patients with chronic coronary artery disease, whether myocardial infarction survivors or others, harbors an increased risk of mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996


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