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A Common Antihypertensive Drug Increases Risk of Skin Caner

By jeremyc | December 7, 2017

A popular antihypertensive drug increases the risk of developing skin cancer sevenfold, according to a new study.

In this study, the researchers examined the association between use of hydrochlorothiazide, a drug frequently prescribed for high blood pressure or hypertension, and risk of skin cancer. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic. It is prescribed for hypertension and water retention. According to some studies, most hypertension patients around the world are prescribed this drug.

The researchers decided to probe the link between hydrochlorothiazide use and skin cancer because this drug has been previously linked with increased risk of lip cancer. As a matter of fact, a previous study had found the risk of lip cancer among hydrochlorothiazide users to be 11 percent more than non-hydrochlorothiazide users.

Hydrochlorothiazide increases the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. This was another reason why the researchers decided to study the effects of this drug on the skin.

For this study, the researchers checked the usage of hydrochlorothiazide in 80,000 skin cancer patients and compared it to the usage of this drug in 1.5 healthy people. The researchers also took into account usage of other hypertension medications.

The researchers noted a 7-time greater risk of developing skin cancer among users of hydrochlorothiazide.

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