How often do people who use a common blood pressure medicine get sunburned? Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you have high blood pressure you may be taking a commonly prescribed medicine called hydrochlorothiazide, one of the first line treatments for the condition.  it’s also known to increase sun sensitivity. Now a study by Anna Chien and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown that certain groups of people get sunburns more often when taking hydrochlorothiazide.

Chien: We looked at data over nine years and included over 19,000 people in our study. We were interested in individuals who use hydrochlorothiazide, how they compare to folks who did not take this medicine. We looked at sun protection measures from sunscreen use, wearing protective clothing, to staying in the shade, and then we looked at self-reported sunburns. What we found was that indeed, hydrochlorothiazide did affect the risk of sunburn. We found that the sunburn risk was associated with race, sex, and how long someone had been taking this medicine.  :32

Chien says the study points to the need to make people aware that they must employ sun protection measures when taking this medication. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.