PEOPLE taking certain blood pressure drugs could be at an increased risk of lung cancer, new research suggests.
Experts found those taking the meds were 14 per cent more likely to develop the disease.
Researchers looked at data on patients taking two different types of drug used to treat high blood pressure.
They analysed the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor drugs (ACE) compared with another group of blood pressure drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB).
The study, published in The BMJ, compared patients taking these different types of drugs.
Experts from Northern Ireland and Canada looked at data on almost a million patients started on anti-hypertensive drugs between 1995 and 2015.
They then followed up patients for about six years.
A total of 7,952 lung cancer cases were identified during this timeframe.
The authors found that patients using the ACEI drugs were 14 per cent more likely to have developed lung cancer.
The length of time patients were on the drugs was also linked to an increased likelihood of developing the disease.
Those who had used the drugs for five years or more were found to have a 22 per cent increased risk and those who had used the drugs for 10 years or more had a 31 per cent higher chance of developing lung cancer, they found.
The drugs work by blocking an enzyme which controls your blood pressure by narrowing your arteries.
If this enzyme goes into overdrive your blood vessels become too narrow and your blood pressure rises.
The drugs limit this enzyme to help your blood vessels relax and widen and are common prescribed after a heart attack or heart failure.
The authors called for further research to explore the link between the drugs and lung cancer.
“The use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors was associated with a 14 per cent increased risk of lung cancer,” they wrote.
“Associations were evident after five years of use and increased with longer durations of use, particularly in patients who used angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors for more than 10 years.
“The magnitudes of the observed estimates are modest, but these small relative effects could translate into large absolute numbers of patients at risk, so these findings should be replicated in other settings.”
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