Popular blood pressure medication could increase the risk of lung cancer, new study finds


A new study report has suggested that popular medications used to control high blood pressure could increase the chances of lung cancer.

During the study, researchers at the McGill University in Canada tried to determine the link between lung cancer and the two breeds of hypertension controlling medications; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

Some of the most prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors include lisinopril, benazepril, and enalapril while the angiotensin receptor blockers widely prescribed are azilsartan, candesartan and eprosartan mesylate. Even though all these medications control blood pressure effectively, they usually target different proteins on the body which will result in various side effects.

As a part of the study, researchers examined the health records of 992,000 adults in the United Kingdom who used blood pressure medications from 1995 to 2015. Researchers also analyzed various factors like age, sex, weight and smoking status that could influence their findings.

After the evaluation, researchers found that people who used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) had a 14 percent higher risk of lung cancer when compared to those who use angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It should be also noted that longer the medication, higher are the chances to be affected with lung cancer. People who took angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) for more than ten years have a 31 percent higher risk of developing lung cancer.

"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," wrote the researchers in the study report.

However, scientists made it clear that the usage of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) is not the sole factor behind the increase in lung cancer developing rate. Researchers believe that various other factors like socioeconomic differences, lifestyle habits and family history of lung cancer.'

This article was first published on October 29, 2018