CANADA- The CBC.ca writes that a study came out that links a common form of blood pressure medication to a slightly higher risk of developing lung cancer. The study means that doctors will have to factor in the risks when prescribing these medications to patients and must fully inform patients of the risks so that individuals have the information they need to make informed decisions about their own healthcare.
The researchers looked at angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE). These medications have been prescribed for many years to millions of patients. ACE inhibitors work by stopping the production of the angiotensin hormone. This hormone causes the blood vessels to constrict, so the inhibitors prevent the constriction and therefore lower blood pressure.
While these medications are highly effective, some researchers have suspected that the drug could be increasing patients’ risks of developing lung cancer. The study looked at about one million patients and determined that there is a small but significant association between blood pressure medication and lung cancer risks.
The study compared patients taking Ace inhibitors to those taking a similar type of medication called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The patients taking ARBs showed no heightened risk of developing lung cancer. The findings are significant because doctors are left with the decision of which of the two drugs to give a patient, and the two are treated as equals and can essentially be interchanged in patients without much concern over side-effects.
Some researchers are still skeptical of the findings and say that there could be other reasons for the statistical findings.
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