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Jul 16, 2010

Angiotensin-Receptor Blockers (ARBs) Linked to “Modest” Increase in Cancer Risk

According to a meta-analysis published in an oncology journal, angiotensin-receptor blockers are associated with a modestly increased risk for cancer. Researchers examined date from five randomized studies including more than 62,000 patients. They found those taking ARBs had a significantly greater risk for new cancer than did the controls. When analyzing different cancer types, lung cancer was the greatest increased risk. The authors of the study call the increase risk “modest” and the mechanism of why there is an increased cancer risk “uncertain.” One ARB in particular used in the study was telmisartan, approximately 85% of patients studied. Often ARBs are used as an alternate treatment for patients who do not tolerate ACE inhibitors. Guidelines from the study suggest that ARBs should be used with greater caution and ACE inhibitors to be used when tolerated.

Dr. Kerry Ferguson