Highly used medications for high blood pressure have been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
Some drugs prescribed for high blood pressure may be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, says new study BMJ.
Specifically, it is the use of "angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors" to lower blood pressure that has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, compared to the use of another group of anti-hypertensive drugs called angiotensin receptor antagonists (ARBs).
The duration of consumption increases the risk
The risk is particularly high among people who have been using ACEI for more than five years, according to the researchers. It is the accumulation of chemicals called "bradykinin" in the lungs that would be involved.
To reach these conclusions, nearly one million patients were followed between 1995 and 2015. During this period, 7,952 cases of lung cancer were identified. The associations were evident after five years of use and increased with longer duration of use, especially in patients who used ACEI for more than 10 years (increased risk of 31%).
A large number of patients at risk
Although the risk is low, the researchers point out that ACE inhibitors are one of the most prescribed drug classes, "so these small relative effects could translate into a large absolute number of patients at risk." "More studies with long-term follow-up are now needed to improve the scientific evidence on the long-term safety of these drugs," they add.
Today, high blood pressure (HTA) affects 15 million people in France, nearly one in three adults. According to the Esteban study recently published by Public Health France, 36% of adult men are now hypertensive, against 25% of women. 60% of people over 65 years of age also suffer from this pathology; figures that climb to 80% among the over 80s.
Lung cancer is the deadliest in men (with colorectal cancer and prostate cancer) and the second deadliest in women (after breast cancer and before colorectal cancer).