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Is there a relationship between lung cancer and hypertension?



Advantages and risks of ACE inhibitors

Recently, we have published a study that revealed a potential relationship between hypertension and lung cancer, resulting in high levels of uncertainty among high blood pressure patients. ACE inhibitors in many antihypertensive medications are likely to increase the risk of developing lung cancer. German experts comment on the test results and clarify the actual risk.

Dr. Bernhard Krämer, President of the German Press Association. He studied the study in "The BMJ" and noted the validity of the study and the actual risks posed by ACE inhibitors. These are especially used for high blood pressure and heart failure.

Can high blood pressure medicines with ACE inhibitors really cause lung cancer? German experts warn of early conclusions. (Picture: psdesign1 / fotolia.com)

Are ACE inhibitors causing lung cancer?

Researchers at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, have recently found that high blood pressure tablets may lead to lung cancer if they include a group of ACE inhibitors. Scientists have come to the conclusion that patients taking such drugs are six percent more likely to develop lung cancer.

Do not skip to conclusions

"However, this is an observational study with limited probative force," writes German specialists of high pressure. They are advised not to sell the medicine without consulting the doctor. If necessary, patients should seek advice from their physician about the benefits and risks of the medicine. Hypertension therapy should always be continued. Your doctor may also prescribe other antihypertensive medications if the uncertainty associated with possible cancer risks is too high.

The study is not very meaningful

As a specialist in the German Hypertension League report, the study is an observational study that can only show associations. Although it shows that there is a link between ACE inhibitors and lung cancer, this does not prove. To do so, a prospective randomized study should be performed, in which all possible disturbances are excluded.

Lung cancer has many motives

Heart experts say lung cancer is a so-called multifactorial disease. This means that there are many different factors that will help shape. These factors include primarily smoking, air pollutants, carcinogenic substances such as asbestos, arsenic, chromium or nickel, and exposure to genetic predisposition. Overweight and excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of developing cancer. In addition, age and non-growth are a risk factor because more than twice as many men are involved in women than lung cancer.

Criticism of test results

Compared to the results of the study, the differences between the experts of the German Heart Foundation are better investigated. For example, there were significantly more obese people in the ACE-inhibitory group. In the ACE group, the proportion of smokers and alcohol consumers was slightly higher. Furthermore, mean age in this group was approximately three years higher than in the control group. "These differences may affect the outcome of the study and the risk of higher lung cancer in patients treated with ACE inhibitors", experts conclude.

This possible link has to be further examined

"The probative value of the present study is therefore rather low and the authors of the study themselves have called for further examinations," said Dr. med. Bernhard Krämer in a press release. ACE inhibitors have been demonstrated in large randomized, controlled trials to significantly reduce heart disease death.

The expert recommends: Do not arbitrarily discard the antihypertensive agents

"We hope the result will not cause cancer patients to stop the blood pressure reduction without consulting their GP," said the professor. It can have serious consequences if patients simply abandon antihypertensive medicines. If not treated, hypertension may result in stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure or dementia. This may happen earlier than a possible cancer. (Vb)


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