USA- Medscape.com reports that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, have been associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The drug is used to treat patients diagnosed with high blood pressure. The study has linked these drugs to a 14 percent increase in the risk of developing lung cancer.
Ace inhibitors have been widely prescribed over the course of many years. Because of the broad use of these drugs, even a fairly small increase in risk could lead to a large number of people developing lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer development was seen to increase the longer patients were on ACE inhibitors as well. Patients taking the drug for 5 years had a 22 percent increase in risk while those who took the medication for ten years or more saw a 31 percent increase.
While the researchers feel that the results of their study warrant further research in the area, many believe that it is too early to say that physicians should be cautious about prescribing these drugs, which provide a great benefit to many patients.
It is important to put the information into perspective. A patient looking at the lung cancer risks should also look at the potential gains in life-expectancy that could be achieved by taking these medications. It is also possible that there is another environmental factor that contributed to the development of cancer in the study group. The study points out that while ACE inhibitors came out in generic form in 1995, ARBs, a similar medication that does not have the same correlation to cancer, were not approved until 2010. The difference could mean that patients in the first group were exposed to other substances that could have increased their risk of developing cancer.
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