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The Link Between Blood Pressure Medicine and Kidney Cancer

written by: Ms Lisa • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 2/20/2011

It has been confirmed that there is a link between blood pressure medicine and kidney cancer. Here we will discuss the medication that has been linked to the kidney cancer.

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    Should I Stop Taking My Blood Pressure Medicine?

    This can be a frightening experience hearing that there is a link between blood pressure medicine and kidney cancer. However, this does not mean that anyone should stop taking their blood pressure medication and throw it away. This action could be disastrous because when someone is taking medications for hypertension, and then they stop taking their medicine this could lead to stroke or worse even death.

    Before we discuss what action a person who is on blood pressure medication should do with these facts, let us consider what the facts are, and how these conclusions where made.

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    How Was This Conclusion Made?

    A study was conducted involving 5,297 patients who were prescribed blood pressure medications. This study was conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. The people, who were taking the medication for hypertension were followed for a total of 16 years. This study was carried out under the direction of John L Reid, a professor at the college.

    There were 1,559 patients involved in the study who were given an ACE inhibitor, while all of the other patients were given other various types of antihypertensive agents. The result for the patients that took the ACE inhibitor showed that there were 60 cancers. It was also found that from this group of patients that the risk of death was one-third less for cancer than the other group involved in the study. The woman who were in the ACE inhibitor group also showed that had only half the risk of cancer-related death. This also concludes that one-third of them risk death from ovarian disease and breast cancer.

    The rest of the patients who were part of the study were in the group that were given various other types of antihypertensive agents. For this group, the study concluded that there were 267 cancers. This is where the conclusion was link to renal cancer. This type of cancer is very rare in people under the age of 50.

    Dr Reid says that one theory why the ACE inhibitor group was protected was because the ACE inhibitors has a substance in the medication that blocks angiotensin ll, this substance is known to stimulate cells to divide blocking, and that is protective. This agent also blocks blood vessel growth.

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    What Should I do if I am Taking Blood Pressure Medicine?

    The answer to that question is that you should continue taking your blood pressure medication. If you are concerned about the link between blood pressure medicine and kidney cancer, then you should make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your concerns about this finding.

    Your physician would be able to evaluate the medication that you are taking and weigh out the risk that are involved and make any changes if they see that there is a risk. The most important thing to remember though is that you should not stop taking your blood pressure medication because this can be very very dangerous. You physician would not have prescribed it to you if they did not see the need for you to take it.

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    On A Special Note

    Other Studies have been conducted on causes of Kidney cancer and have not mentioned a link between blood pressure medication and cancer. These studies where not specifically for this cause. However, it has been mentioned that more study needs to be made in the link between the blood pressure and kidney cancer theory. These links have been added to the references if you are interested in further reading.

    Resources:

    WebMD.com John L Reid professor University of Glasgow in Scotland

    Metrohealth.org

    Cancer Research UK Cancer Help.org

    Physorg.com University Hospitals Case Medical Center