Did you know that blood pressure medications may help to prolong the life of patients with pancreatic cancer?

7 March 2022 – New study reveals that everyday blood pressure drugs may extend the lives of individuals with pancreatic cancer, a notoriously difficult-to-treat illness with dismal survival rates.

Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.

These medications, referred to as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, work by relaxing veins and arteries and enabling the heart to pump blood more freely. These drugs have been found in animal studies to reduce the development of pancreatic cancer. Numerous tiny human investigations imply the same phenomenon, but the sample sizes were insufficient to make firm conclusions. The new study analyzed data on 3.7 million persons in Italy and discovered 8,158 cases of pancreatic cancer reported between 2003 and 2011. The research, published in the journal BMC Cancer last month, discovered that most of these individuals died within about six months after diagnosis. Patients who received ARBs after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer had a 20% decreased risk of death compared to identify patients who did not get ARBs. ARB users showed a 28% decreased risk of death in a smaller cohort of individuals who had cancer surgery. Patients with pancreatic cancer who used ACE inhibitors had a 13% decreased risk of death during the first three years after diagnosis, but this effect diminished with time. “ARBs and ACE inhibitors should still be considered experimental therapies for pancreatic cancer,” research investigator Scott Keith, Ph.D. of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, warns. Timothy Pawlik, MD, Ph.D., also warns against drawing definitive conclusions from this research. “While the statistics are intriguing, they are not definitive,” adds Pawlik of Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Because the research is retrospective, it is prone to selection and treatment bias. Additionally, the data were taken from an administrative health care database, which is known for its lack of detailed clinical information “he emphasizes. Additionally, Pawlik emphasizes that research on the effects of blood pressure drugs on cancer risk and outcome is inconsistent. Numerous prior research shows that ACE inhibitors and ARBs may protect against some types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, while other data reveal a probable relationship between ACE inhibitors and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as lung cancer.

Reference
Blood Pressure Meds May Prolong Life in Pancreatic. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/news/20220307/blood-pressure-meds-for-pancreatic-cancer?fbclid=IwAR0N3j-_pDSVcFXu7OajXAyv0dazqfaFh9hTGGzm9T_99iRsRUB7lSMYsZs
Diabetes Report Card 2019 | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/reports/reportcard.html

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