Elevated Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk has been associated with the use of several antihypertensive medications but has not yet been elucidated in the populations prescribed alpha-1 blockers that are commonly used in the treatment of hypertension and lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (LUTS-BPH). The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between alpha-1 blocker use and the risk of developing RCC using a nationwide population-based database in Taiwan. Patients who were treated with alpha-1 blockers for at least 28 days were identified through the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database from 2000 to 2010. The unexposed participants were matched with the exposed cases according to age, sex, and index year at a ratio of 3:1. Cox proportional hazards regression, stratified by sex and comorbidities and adjusted for age, was performed to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of subsequent RCC. Among 2,232,092 subjects, patients who received alpha-1 blocker treatment had a higher risk of RCC than the unexposed group. Taking into account hypertension and BPH, the adjusted HR was significantly higher in male alpha-1 blocker users who had no BPH and either the presence (HR: 1.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22–2.18) or absence (HR: 2.31, 95% CI = 1.40–3.81) of hypertension than in men not receiving these drugs. Taken together, male alpha-1 blocker users who had no comorbidity of BPH exhibited an increased risk for developing RCC independent of hypertension. Further study is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of this association.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242429
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11 November
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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