In a new study, researchers found that a type of high blood pressure drug called calcium channel blocker is linked to a higher risk of a bowel condition called diverticulosis.
This condition causes small bulges or pouches to appear in the lining of the intestine.
The bowel condition is more likely to occur in older people. It may lead to a medical emergency.
The research was led by a team from Imperial College London.
High blood pressure harms one in ten adults across the globe, and it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The most common treatments for the condition are lifestyle changes and medications.
In the new study, the team examined the effectiveness and side effects of three common blood pressure medications: ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers.
These three drugs have been taken by millions, but their potential side effects are still not clear.
The researchers used genetic analyses to study the effects of drugs. They examined versions of genes that mimic the effects of these drugs.
They first identified the proteins targeted by the drugs and which help lower blood pressure.
Next, they analyzed genetic data from around 750,000 people and identified the so-called genetic variants that code for these proteins.
They then studied whether these gene variants were linked to an increased or decreased risk of other diseases.
The team tested the risk of about 900 different diseases using data from the UK Biobank study.
They found that a particular type of calcium channel blocker (the non-dihydropyridine class) for high blood pressure treatment was linked to the increased risk of the bowel condition.
This is the first time that this class of blood pressure drug has been linked to bowel disease.
The team explains that it may relate to effects on the function of intestine muscles, which perform contractions to transport food through the gut.
They also warn that the findings should not change current blood pressure drug prescribing guidelines.
People should not stop taking their blood pressure medication before consulting their doctor.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Dipender Gill from Imperial’s School of Public Health.
The study is published in the journal Circulation.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.