Clinical trials of antihypertensive drugs found no increased risk of cancer

A new meta-analysis found no association between taking antihypertensive drugs and the risk of developing cancer. The authors included more than 30 clinical trials, but did not completely rule out risks.

Some studies have shown a link between the use of antihypertensive drugs and the development of cancer, although this has not been proven, the Lancet Oncology article points out. The authors, led by researchers from the University of Oxford, conducted their own analysis of existing publications on this issue.

Scientists selected 33 randomized clinical trials, which included a total of 260 thousand participants. They studied five classes of drugs: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), beta blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and thiazide diuretics. Each trial compared a specific class of drugs with placebo, an inactive control, or another antihypertensive agent.

Separately, the authors of the article requested individual data from the participants who conducted the clinical studies. During the observation period, 15 thousand of them received their first diagnosis of cancer.

According to the results of the analysis, scientists did not find any association between any of the classes of antihypertensive drugs and the risk of developing any type of cancer. The exception was drugs from the CCB group, which, when compared with ARBs, were associated with a slight increase in the risk of malignant tumors of the prostate gland and skin. However, the researchers cautioned that in some cases the comparison was not strong enough to rule out risks entirely.

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