December 5, 2018 – Blood Pressure Med and Lung Cancer


Anchor lead: Does one class of medicines for blood pressure cause an increased risk for lung cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do people who take a common class of blood pressure medicines known as ACE inhibitors have a greater risk for lung cancer? That was the finding of a recent study of about a million people who had high blood pressure and were taking various medicines to lower it. When followed for an average of 6+ years those taking ACE inhibitors had about a 14% increased risk relative to another type of drug. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, isn’t impressed.

Nelson: Well I think if there were a definite association with one of the antihypertensive drugs with a significant risk to develop cancer it would be abandoned quickly in favor of others that work by different mechanisms. In general there’s a growing trend to use more than one agent in controlling blood pressure adequately and I think the selection of blood pressure lowering regimen is something that a patient should take on with his or her physician.   :26

Nelson says everyone with high blood pressure should be treated, since it’s an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.