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Am J Cardiol. 2011 Oct 1;108(7):1045-51. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.05.041. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Cardiovascular medications and risk of cancer.

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School of Pharmacy, Loma Linda University, California, USA.


Cardiovascular disease and cancer are 2 of the leading causes of death globally. Certain cardiovascular medications have been linked to an increased risk for cancer. Although individual reviews of specific classes of cardiovascular medications have been published previously, a more complete review of several classes has not been performed. The aim of this review is to evaluate the associations of various cardiovascular agents with the risk for developing cancer and provide guidance for clinicians. A comprehensive search of published research was conducted using MEDLINE from 1994 to 2011. Three trials demonstrated an increased risk for cancer using angiotensin II receptor blockers. Additionally, risk for cancer was shown in a number of trials that included the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers in combination with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Five trials suggested that diuretics increased the risk for specific cancers, especially in women and those who had been using diuretics for >4 years. Statins and ezetimibe, in contrast, did not show this increased risk. Prasugrel was shown to be associated with an increased risk for cancer in 1 study. It appears that the use of certain cardiovascular medications is associated with an increased risk for cancer. In conclusion, clinicians need to balance the risks and benefits of the use of these agents and provide the appropriate therapy on an individual basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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