Widely used BP Meds may increase the risk of skin cancer

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Cara Murez

Health Day reporter

Monday, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News)-From wearing and reapplying sunscreen to wearing a hat, most people are familiar with common sun protection recommendations.

But a new Canadian study found that this recommendation becomes even more critical for people taking certain antihypertensive drugs, because these drugs can increase their sensitivity to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV).

The researchers reviewed data from nearly 303,000 adults over 65 in Ontario who were prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure. The study then compared their skin cancer history with the medical history of more than 605,000 adults who did not take antihypertensive drugs.

Research results show that certain types of hypertension drugs (called thiazide diuretics) are associated with a higher incidence of keratinocyte skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, advanced keratinocyte carcinoma and melanin tumor.

Study author Aaron Drucker emphasized: “Our findings do not mean to exclude patients from thiazide diuretics.” He is a clinical researcher in the Department of Dermatology, Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

carry on

“In general, this is a potential sign for people who may have had skin cancer. They have had skin cancer in the past, or their skin is really fair and exposed to a lot of sunlight. They are more likely to develop more skin cancers and then, yes, similar people may consider alternatives.” Drucker said.

The other four blood pressure medications-angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and calcium channel blockers-are not associated with skin cancer risk.

Drucker said: “None of the other antihypertensive drugs showed the same signal, so to some extent, we have four negative controls.”

Previous research has shown that people taking this drug (also called hydrochlorothiazide) have an increased risk of skin cancer. The study authors pointed out that this most commonly used thiazide has earlier warned Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to prohibit long-term use.

This new study tracks people over time to determine whether they are in danger, not only because a person takes these drugs, but also because the cumulative dose or duration affects their risk of skin cancer. The results of the study show that higher cumulative exposure (long-term use of drugs) is associated with an increase in the incidence of skin cancer.

carry on

“If you only use these drugs for a few years, it will not have a significant impact on your cancer risk. But for people who take 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide a day in our laboratory, research shows that this person suffers from keratinocyte carcinoma The risk will increase by 40%,” Drucker said. He added that if they took the same dose for 20 years, the relative risk increased by 75% compared to people who did not take hydrochlorothiazide.

Drucker explained: “So, how much time it took to influence what I think is really important is a big influence,”

Ultraviolet radiation is the most important environmental risk factor for skin cancer. The study author pointed out in a report published on April 12 that phototoxicity caused by drugs can cause skin cell damage and increase the carcinogenic potential of the sun. Federation.

Dr. John Strasswimmer is a dermatologist certified by the Florida Board of Directors and a spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Foundation. He was not involved in the study, but commented on the findings.

carry on

He said: “Skin cancer is the main cancer in the United States.” “And, unfortunately, although our treatment methods are getting better and better, because of the large number of tumors, we still have too many people dying from skin cancer. This is true even for those who die of skin cancer., it becomes very big [health] Their problems. This does harm their quality of life. “

Strasswimmer said he hopes this research will encourage people who use this common drug to practice good sun protection. He added that apart from tanning, there is no safe tanning. Any contact that causes you to tan can also cause skin cancer and cancer.

He recommends that you step into the shade as much as possible. Cover your head. Wear high-quality UV protection clothing. And use high-quality sunscreen to cover other parts of the body. Strasswimmer said, don’t forget to reapply because it may become invalid. People should also be familiar with the appearance of skin cancer.

carry on

He said: “Skin cancer is a very important disease.” “However, this is not the only one.” He pointed out that heart disease and high blood pressure are silent killers, causing a large number of deaths in the United States. Strasswimmer said: “So, I think the last thing we want to see is that people are thinking about stopping medication.”

“In this case, people may have a particularly high risk of skin cancer, or they may have a higher risk of skin cancer, which will certainly prompt them to talk to primary care physicians to find out whether it is possible to It’s quite a change. It was made.” He suggested.

More information

National Cancer Institute More information about skin cancer.

Source: Aaron Drucker, MD, clinical researcher, dermatologist certified by the Board of Directors of the Department of Dermatology, Brown University Alpert School of Medicine, Providence, Ronald; John Strasswimmer, Medical Ph.D., Ph.D., Delray Beach, Florida, spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Foundation, clinical professor at Florida Atlantic University, and professor of medicine/scientific research at Florida Atlantic University; Federation (Journal of the Canadian Medical Association), April 12, 2021

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