Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
June 14, 2010 by Post Team
English scientists say yes. They have discovered a troubling link between the popular blood pressure drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs, and cancers of the breast, prostate and lung.
His research – an anlysis of previous research involving 60,000 people – found that those who took the drugs had about a 1 percent risk of getting cancer than those who did not take drugs.
Millions of people around the world have ARBs to treat high blood pressure and related diseases, including heart failure and diabetic kidney disease.
“The risk to individual patients is modest,” said Dr. Ilke Sipahi, associate director of heart failure and transplantation at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland and author of the study, the Associated Press. “However, when viewed from the population level, millions and millions of people are on these drugs and can cause a lot of excess cancer in the world.”
Sipahi said he would now think twice before prescribing to their patients on ARBs. But he said patients should not stop taking medicines, because their chances of dying from heart failure than their chances of getting cancer. Patients taking ARBs should consult their doctors if they are concerned, Sipahi said.
ARA are sold under brands such as Cozaar and Diovan, although much of the data used in the study included an ARB is sold as Micardis, the Wall Street Journal.
The company that makes Micardis, Boehringer Ingelheim, disputed the findings, saying in a statement that the study had conflicting data.
What explains the study link between ARBs and cancer? Scientists are not sure. However, some animal studies suggest that drugs cause growth of new blood vessels, which could accelerate the growth of tumors.
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