Common blood pressure medications linked to increased skin cancer risk
Thiazide diuretics, which are used by many older patients to control blood pressure, are linked to increased risk of certain skin cancers in a new Canadian study.
The analysis of data from more than 300,000 Ontario adults aged 66 and older revealed that prolonged use of thiazides, including hydrochlorothiazide, was associated with a risk increase of as much as 44% for keratinocyte carcinoma and 60% for melanoma. Other antihypertensives, such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, were not linked with a risk increase, researchers report in the CMAJ.
It’s not known exactly how the diuretics might be implicated in skin cancer development, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Aaron Drucker, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, a dermatologist and scientist at the Women’s College Hospital, and an adjunct scientist at ICES Central, in Toronto. “There is a theory that diuretics might make you more sensitive to the sun and that the interaction between the medication and UV radiation from the sun makes you more prone to skin damage,” Dr. Drucker said…