Who’s at risk for sunburn with a common blood pressure medicine? Elizabeth Tracey reports

June 7, 2021

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Hydrochlorothiazide is a common blood pressure medication known to increase sun sensitivity. Now a study by Anna Chien and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown that certain groups of people were much more likely to experience sunburns while taking this medicine than others.

Chien: Compared to those who were not taking the medication, non-Hispanic Black individuals, particularly women, taking this medicine had increased odds of getting sunburn. Interestingly, non-Hispanic white men we actually found had lower odds of sunburn compared to non-Hispanic white women. The other thing we found was that in the first three years, it’s really in the beginning phase of this medication in which the sunburn risk was the highest, and thereafter was sort of leveled out between the two groups.  :28

Chien notes that physicians must ask their patients about sun protection measures they are using and advise them about additional strategies. She says that even those with black or brown skin are at risk for sunburn. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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