Blood pressure meds boost lip cancer risk

August 15, 2012

Certain blood pressure medications may increase the risk of lip cancer among non-Hispanic whites, according to results of a new study.

Oakland, Calif. - Certain blood pressure medications may increase the risk of lip cancer among non-Hispanic whites, according to results of a new study.

The study emphasizes, however, that the risk of cancer is “generally outweighed” by the photosensitizing antihypertensive drugs’ benefits, according to Medscape Medical News.

Researchers with Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Program, Oakland, Calif., examined the use of hydrochlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide-triamterene, nifedipine, lisinopril and atenolol. Patients in the study included 712 with lip cancer and 22,904 matched controls.

According to the study, hydrochlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide-triamterene and nifedipine were associated with an increased risk of lip cancer, which increased with longer duration of use. When used alone, the nonphotosensitizing drug atenolol was not associated with increased risk, and findings for lisinopril were equivocal.

“When initiating use of photosensitizing agents for our patients, we need to remind them of these simple measures to avoid sun exposure,” Mitchell H. Katz, M.D., wrote in an accompanying editor’s note.

The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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