In a recent study, researchers find that one of the most common drugs for high blood pressure is linked to skin cancer.
Specifically, blood pressure drug containing hydrochlorothiazide is linked to an increased risk for skin cancer.
The study is conducted by the University of Southern Denmark and the Danish Cancer Society.
Hydrochlorothiazide is one of the most commonly used medicines to reduce blood pressure both in the US, where over ten million people use the drug annually, and in Western Europe.
Previous work from the team has shown that the drug could increase the risk of lip cancer.
In this study, the team examined 80,000 Danish cases of skin cancer.
They find a clear connection between the use of blood pressure drug and the chance of developing skin cancer.
It is known that hydrochlorothiazide can make the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays.
But is surprising that long-term use of this blood pressure medicine could lead to a big increase in the risk of skin cancer.
The researchers found that the risk of developing skin cancer is up to seven times greater for users of medicine containing hydrochlorothiazide.
Both lip and skin cancer are typically treated with an operation that is associated with a certain risk of impairment as well as a small, but real, risk that skin cancer of the squamous cell type spreads.
The side effects can therefore affect numerous people, and the researchers have calculated that about 10% of all Danish cases of squamous cell carcinoma may be caused by hydrochlorothiazide.
They have also looked at other commonly used hypertension medicines, but none of them increased the risk of skin cancer.
The researchers continue to work on studies that can shed additional light on the connection between hydrochlorothiazide and skin cancer.
Researcher Anton Pottegård is the initiator of the study.
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Source reference: University of Southern Denmark Faculty of Health Sciences.