According to findings recently published in The BMJ, taking ACE inhibitors puts you at an increased risk of lung cancer.
The observational study by McGill University found links to the disease in patients who had been taking the drugs for over five years, with a 31 per cent increased risk for those taking them for more than a decade.
ACE inhibitors are widely prescribed to lower blood pressure and are typically given to those who have experienced heart attacks or suffer from heart failure.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, commented, ‘ACE inhibitors have been prescribed for many years to treat heart failure and high blood pressure, and are undeniably life-saving. The suggested link to lung cancer is a surprise, and based on an observational study. While the authors have tried to look for other reasons for the link, they accept there’s always the possibility it’s down to factors they didn’t measure.
‘More research needs to be done. At the moment, there isn’t enough evidence to stop using these drugs but, if you’re taking ACE inhibitors and are concerned about any potential side-effects, we would always recommend speaking with your GP.’