According to a new study conducted by researchers from McGill University in Canada, there is a link between common blood pressure medication and the risk of lung cancer. The study recently published in The British Medical Journal found a connection between lung cancer and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) – both used to treat hypertension.
Both ACEIs and ARBs lower blood pressure, targeting proteins, but also coming with side effects.
Common ACEIs are lisinopril, benazepril and enalapril, and common ARBs are azilsartan, candesartan and eprosartan mesylate.
The authors of the study have analyzed the data from the health records of 992,000 adults in the UK – the patients have received blood pressure drugs from 1995 to 2015. The analysis followed the adults for over six years, also considering other factors such as age, weight, sex, or whether they were smokers or not.
ACEIs Increase Risk of Lung Cancer by 14% Compared to ARBs
Analysis of the results shows that the people that used ACEIs had an increased risk of lung cancer by 14% compared to the people that used ARBs. The report also shows that the risk increases the longer patients take the medication. For example, the people that took the medication for 10 years had 31% increased risk, writes the team:
“In this large, population based study, the use of ACEIs was associated with an elevated risk of lung cancer overall, along with evidence of a duration-response relation. 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.”
The team of scientists also added that ACEIs are not directly causing lung cancer and they still don’t understand the link between cancer and the treatment, but they also theorize that factors like diet, family history of lung cancer or socioeconomic differences are also to blame.
Researchers also explained that previous research points towards ACEIs causing an accumulation of chemicals that were found in lung cancer tissue.
“Additional studies, with long term follow-up, are needed to investigate the effects of these drugs on incidence of lung cancer,” concludes the team.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.