Blood pressure drugs linked to higher risk of bowel disease, study shows

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High blood pressure is a serious health issue that affects about 10% of adults around the world.

People with high blood pressure often need to make changes to their lifestyle and take medication to manage their condition.

However, recent research from Imperial College London suggests that some blood pressure drugs might be linked to bowel problems.

Millions of people take blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Because so many people use these drugs, it’s important to understand any possible side effects they might have.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Dipender Gill used a unique method to study these potential side effects. Instead of looking directly at the drugs, they studied genetic variants that mimic the effects of the drugs.

The researchers identified the proteins targeted by these drugs and then found the matching genetic variants in a large dataset of about 750,000 people. This method allowed them to predict the potential risks associated with the medications.

While analyzing data from the UK Biobank study, which includes health information from many people, the researchers discovered a potential link between one type of calcium channel blocker, called non-dihydropyridine, and an increased risk of bowel conditions.

The researchers believe these drugs might affect the muscles in the intestines, which are responsible for moving food through the digestive system.

Despite this possible link, the researchers stressed that it’s too early to change how blood pressure medications are prescribed. Their findings are meant to start a conversation, not to provide definitive answers.

Patients taking these medications should not make any quick decisions without talking to their healthcare provider. The risks of not treating high blood pressure, such as heart attacks and strokes, are much higher than the potential risks suggested by this study.

This research highlights the complex ways that medications can interact with our bodies. As scientists continue to explore these interactions, they hope to develop treatments that are both effective and have fewer side effects.

For now, it is important for doctors and patients to have open discussions about the risks and benefits of any medication.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that may increase high blood pressure risk, and drinking green tea could help lower blood pressure.

For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about what to eat or to avoid for high blood pressure,  and 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

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