Hypertension: Lung Cancer Using ACE Inhibitors - Should You Change Drugs?

Hypertension: Lung Cancer Using ACE Inhibitors - Should You Change Drugs?

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Specialist society provides information about hypertension medicines

A recent British study showed that ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure could be associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. However, as there were some discrepancies in the study, experts from the German Society for Cardiology published a statement shortly afterwards advising that the results be viewed with caution. However, many cardiac patients remain insecure. The German Society for Cardiology - Cardiovascular Research (DGN) provides information on the correct handling.

In Germany, millions of patients with heart diseases benefit from medicines that contain ACE inhibitors. According to the DGN heart expert Professor Dr. Ulrich Laufs treated about 45 percent of all hypertension patients with ACE inhibitors. In the case of heart failure and after a heart attack, almost all patients receive the active ingredient. "Numerous studies have confirmed that this therapy prolongs life and improves symptoms," Laufs explains in a press release. The risk of death could be reduced by 25 to 30 percent by taking ACE inhibitors.

Do ACE inhibitors trigger lung cancer?

The DGN experts summarize the facts of the study: ACE inhibitors can lead to lung cancer, British scientists recently found in a study paper. Research shows that patients treated with ACE inhibitors were 14 percent more at risk of developing bronchial carcinoma than those taking AT1 antagonists and 6 percent more at risk of patients taking other antihypertensive agents were supplied without ACE inhibitors.

What is the DGN assessment of this study?

"A major weakness of the study is that various influencing factors could not be taken into account because there was no information available," explains DGN pharmacologist Professor Dr. Ulrich Kintscher. Since many factors come together in the development of bronchial carcinoma, control over influencing factors is particularly important in such studies. According to the DGN experts, this control did not take place. It is only an observational study that recognizes possible relationships, but cannot make any statements about cause and effect.

Many factors were ignored

"For example, the study did not include the socio-economic status, the patient's eating habits and the family history of lung cancer," emphasizes Kintscher. The duration and intensity of tobacco use by the participants who smoked was also not taken into account - a crucial risk factor for lung cancer and high blood pressure. Nevertheless, the study results have to be taken seriously and a possible connection has to be considered.

Weigh the benefits and risks

"However, it is important to always carefully weigh the benefits of drawing the patient out of therapy against the risks," advise the DGN experts. Professors Laufs and Kintscher both come to the conclusion that there is initially no reason to replace ACE inhibitors with other medicines if they are well tolerated by those affected.

Irregular intake carries greater risks

"The much too low dosage of the medication by the doctors and the often inadequate loyalty of the patients should cause much more concern," says Laufs. According to the experts, you should never come up with the idea of ​​selling the preparations yourself.

For whom is a medication change considered?

"The replacement of the ACE inhibitor can be considered in certain patients, for example at increased risk for or already existing lung cancer," Kintscher recommends. Anyone who feels strongly unsettled by the study should speak openly with the doctor treating them about the concerns in order to find a possible solution, according to the advice of the specialist society. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: Scientists say blood pressure medication could help prevent lung cancer (May 2022).