Do high blood pressure drugs increase the risk of cancer?

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Does the risk of cancer from hypertension medication increase?

(06/14/2010) According to a US study, drugs for high blood pressure favor the risk of developing cancer. According to scientists from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, “Sartane” class blood pressure lowerers could slightly increase the risk of cancer. The study statistically evaluated drug tests that were published up to November of last year (2009). According to the results of the study, the evaluation revealed that the cancer risk rate of the patients with such hypotensive agents was 7.2 percent. On the other hand, people who did not take antihypertensive drugs had a 6.0 percent risk of cancer. The researcher Ilke Sihapi from Case Western Reserve University said: "The higher risk of developing new cancer cases is manageable but significant".

The most commonly used drug in this class is the Boehringer-Ingelheim drug "Micardis". This drug alone brought the pharmaceutical company € 1.39 billion in sales last year. However, the company "Boehringer-Ingelheim GMBH" announced on Monday that the drug was "safe". It refers to other studies and has carried out an analysis of the safety data for Micardis. The analysis showed that the antihypertensive agents did not increase the risk of developing cancer. The pharmaceutical company explained that studies and data from more than 50,000 patients were used.

Hypertension is now a so-called widespread disease in the western industrialized nations. Men and women are equally affected. It is estimated that around 50 percent of men and about 40 percent of women are affected by high blood pressure. About half of the patients do not know about their illness, since high blood pressure often does not cause symptoms for a long time. With a high blood pressure disease there is a high risk of so-called secondary diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases. With high blood pressure, many cardiologists prescribe antihypertensive agents. (sb)

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