NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – High blood pressure tablets taken by millions around the world may increase the risk of lung cancer, a study suggests.
The results showed that patients exposed to the angiotensin-mobile enzyme inhibitors were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than those taking other drugs.
The researchers found that the risk increases with the length of time the patient takes the drug. Those who took the drug for five years were 22 percent more likely to develop lung cancer and 31 percent if they continued to take the drug for 10 years.
Scientists believe that the drugs cause the accumulation of chemicals called "Bradykinin" in the lung, which in turn leads to cancer.
Other scientists questioned the findings and suggested lung cancer could occur in patients who smoke while taking drugs.
Common names of the inhibitors include Ramipril, captopril, cilazapril, and enalapril, which act by limiting the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme or known as ACE inhibitors, thus relaxing blood vessels, expanding and lowering blood pressure .
The study looked at 992,000 adults described by doctors as blood pressure medication in the United Kingdom between 1995 and 2015.
"In the light of the findings, further research is needed elsewhere, especially among patients who take the drug for longer periods," the scientists said.