Common blood pressure tablet linked to lung cancer

Certain-blood-pressure-drug-may-pose-lung-cancer-risk
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Certain-blood-pressure-drug-may-pose-lung-cancer-risk

Certain-blood-pressure-drug-may-pose-lung-cancer-risk

Millions of Americans take angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, inhibitors to lower their blood pressure, but a new study suggests they might also increase their odds of developing lung cancer.

These chemicals have been found on lung cancer tissue, and bradykinin may directly stimulate the growth of lung cancer.

"ACE inhibitors have been prescribed for many years to treat heart failure and high blood pressure, and are undeniably life-saving".

After taking account of factors that could potentially influence the findings, including age, sex, weight (BMI), smoking status, alcohol related disorders, and history of lung diseases, use of ACEIs was associated with an overall 14 per cent increased risk of lung cancer.

It compared the use of ACE inhibitors with another popular class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers, otherwise known as ARBs.

Lotensin (benazepril), Prinivil (lisinopril), and Altace (ramipril) are common ACE inhibitors. These patients began taking drugs to control blood pressure between 1995 and 2015.

Azoulay also cautioned that this is an observational study, and it can't prove these drugs actually cause lung cancer.

Furthermore, the researchers, led by senior author Laurent Azoulay, PhD, McGill University, Montreal, found the lung cancer risk was elevated for patients who have used the drug for more than five years.

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They said that although a 14 per cent increased risk might not seem very much, "small relative effects could translate into large absolute numbers of patients at risk for lung cancer".

"In an individual patient, any concerns about the risk of lung cancer should be balanced by the survival benefit associated with the use of ACE inhibitors", said Cronin Fenton, who wrote in an article about the BMJ study.

Here, Azoulay and his colleagues conducted a large, population-based study using the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink, comprising 15 million patients in the U.K. They identified and analyzed a cohort of almost 1 million patients who were treated with a new antihypertensive drug between 1995 and 2015.

Patients were taking one of two types of pills either ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, which work in a different way.

"Although the magnitudes of the observed estimates are modest, these small relative effects could translate into large absolute numbers of patients at risk for lung cancer, so these findings need to be replicated in other settings", Azoulay and his colleagues concluded.

"There was no record of family history of lung cancer and we know that's an important risk factor", Dr Emily Stone, Lung Specialist at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital said.

Azoulay said that ACE inhibitors are effective at lowering blood pressure, but they may increase the chemicals in the body that are linked with lung cancer, HealthDay reported.

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