BPA comment on ARBs and cancer risk study


UK charity the Blood Pressure Association has commented on a new study which has suggested that some types of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) may be associated with ‘a modestly increased risk’ of developing cancer. [1]

The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, analysed data from a number of trials published before November 2009. The analysis focused on three types of ARBs (telmisartan, losartan and candesartan). It found that patients taking ARBs had a ‘modest’ increased risk of new cancer occurance compared with patients in control groups (7.2 per cent versus 6 per cent).

Mike Rich, Executive Director of UK charity the Blood Pressure Association, said: "The increased risk identified in this study really is very modest, however it does bear more study.

"What is important to remember is that this kind of drug saves countless lives by allowing the good management of high blood pressure in people who may otherwise be at a greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

"People should not read about this research and stop taking their medication. Unmanaged high blood pressure can be very serious and anyone who has a concern should speak to their GP."

[1] Reference: The Lancet Oncology Online, DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70106-6,‘Angiotensin-receptor blockade and risk of cancer: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials’