November 29th, 2010

Study Finds No Link Between Cancer and Antihypertensives, Except for ARB-ACE Inhibitor Combo

A new meta-analysis has found no evidence of a large cancer risk for most common antihypertensive agents, but did find strong evidence, largely based on one trial, for at least a 10% increase in cancer risk with the rarely used angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) combination. In a paper in the Lancet Oncology, Sripal Bangalore and colleagues report on multiple analyses of data taken from 70 trials and including almost 325,000 patients.

The results, write the authors, refute a 5% to 10% “increase in either cancer or cancer-related death with most antihypertensive drug classes.” In contrast to a previous study, the new meta-analysis did not find an increased risk for ARBs in general or for telmisartan specifically. For the ARB-ACE inhibitor combination, however, the investigators note “a consistent harmful effect,” though they point out that “the finding was driven largely by the ONTARGET trial.”

Click here for previous coverage of cancer and antihypertensive agents on CardioExchange.

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