After analyzing the results, they found that those who used ACEIs had a 14 percent increased risk of lung cancer, compared to those on ARBs. They noticed the association after five years of use and said the risk increased the longer the patients were on the medication. In fact, those who took it for 10 years had a 31 percent increased chance of a diagnosis.
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"In this large, population based study, the use of ACEIs was associated with an elevated risk of lung cancer overall, along with evidence of a duration-response relation," the team wrote. "Although the magnitudes of the observed estimates are modest, these small relative effects could translate into large absolute numbers of patients at risk for lung cancer, so these findings need to be replicated in other settings."
The scientists noted ACEIs do not cause lung cancer and they do not yet understand the relationship between the illness and the pills. However, they hypothesize that socioeconomic differences, diet, and family history of lung cancer may have affected their findings. They also acknowledged previous research that suggested ACEIs may cause the accumulation of chemicals that have been discovered on lung cancer tissue.
They now hope to continue their investigations and advise people to express their concerns about potential blood pressure medication risk with their physicians.
“Additional studies,” they concluded, “with long term follow-up, are needed to investigate the effects of these drugs on incidence of lung cancer.”
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