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Home News and Update Year 2010 Blood Pressure Pills Increase Risk Of Cancer

Blood Pressure Pills Increase Risk Of Cancer

Times of India
15 June 2010
London, UK

ADDED CONCERN: Experts warn patients not to stop taking their drugs and advise them to consult their doctors if they are concerned ADDED CONCERN: Experts warn patients not to stop taking their drugs and advise them to consult their doctors if they are concerned
Some of the world’s most popular blood pressure pills may slightly increase your risk of getting cancer, according to new research but doctors say it’s too soon to ditch the drugs.

In an analysis of five previous studies following about 60,000 patients, experts found a link between people taking medicines known as angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBs, and cancer. The drugs are taken by millions of people worldwide for conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetic kidney disease.

In the analysis, researchers found that people who took the drugs had about a 1% higher risk of getting cancer than people who weren’t on the drugs. This included a whole range of cancers — prostate, breast and a noticeable spike in lung cancer.

About 85% of those people were on telmisartan, sold as Micardis, made by Boehringer Ingelheim Corp. There was no difference in the rate of cancer deaths in people on the drugs compared to those not on them.

The study was published on Monday in the journal, Lancet Oncology. No funding was provided for the study, but Ilke Sipahi, the study’s lead author, has received past payments from drug makers Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca PLC and Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc, which all make blood pressure drugs. Other authors reported similar grants from other pharmaceuticals.

"The risk for the individual patient is modest," said Sipahi, associate director of heart failure and transplantation at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "However, when you look at it from the population level, millions and millions of people are on these drugs and it can cause a lot of excess cancer worldwide."

Sipahi warned patients not to stop taking their drugs, and recommended they consult their doctor if they were concerned. AP

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