Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Increased Risk of Cancer
A blood pressure drug used by millions of adults could be increasing their risk of cancer, a study has revealed.
The use of ARB drugs to treat hypertension is associated with a 'modestly increased risk' of new cancer diagnosis, scientists say.
Some 15million prescriptions are written for the drugs every year in the UK - making them one of the most widely-used form of blood pressure medication.
Can blood pressure drugs increase cancer risk?
English scientists say yes. They've uncovered an troubling link between popular blood pressure meds known as angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBs, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and lung.
Their research - an analysis of previous research involving 60,000 people - found that those who took the drugs had about a 1 percent higher risk of getting cancer than those not taking the drugs.
Researchers found significantly increased rates of all cancers among patients taking the drugs.
The class of drugs, called Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), are widely used to treat high blood pressure as well as heart failure and kidney damage caused by diabetes.
The drugs work by blocking a hormone known to increase blood pressure.
But previous research suggested that they might also affect the risk of developing cancer.
The new review looked at 13 trials of the drugs which involved more than 150,000 patients.
A new analysis of clinical trial data links some of the most popular blood pressure drugs to an increased risk of cancer.
But experts not involved in the analysis cautioned that the results are not definitive and hard to interpret, and probably should not result in wholesale changes to how doctors use the medicines, called angiotensin receptor blockers, or ARBs. The result shows how, as more and more data are collected, potentially important but small risks are likely to continue to turn up for lots of common drugs.