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Common hypertension drugs linked to skin cancer risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — In a new study, the researchers have identified clear connection between the use of hypertension medicine and the chance of developing skin cancer.

Long term use of drugs that help lower high blood pressure may increase the risk of developing skin cancer, a recently published research from The University of Southern Denmark and the Danish Cancer Society, has claimed.

Specifically, this refers to drugs containing hydrochlorothiazide and squamous cell carcinoma. Hydrochlorothiazide — one of the most commonly used antihypertensive drugs worldwide — is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American Association of Dermatology, the team observed nearly 80,000 participants and found a connection between hypertension and skin cancer.

The findings revealed that using medicines that contain hydrochlorothiazide increases the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma — skin cancer that develops in the cells of the outer layer of the skin — up to seven times.

“We knew that hydrochlorothiazide made the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays, but what is new and also surprising is that long term use of this blood pressure medicine leads to such a significant increase in the risk of skin cancer,” said Anton Pottegard, associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark.

The researchers had previously demonstrated that hydrochlorothiazide can increase the risk of lip cancer.

However, one should not interrupt the treatment without consulting the doctor, Pottegard suggested, because “hydrochlorothiazide is an effective and otherwise safe treatment for most patients”.

Besides treating hypertension, hydrochlorothiazide is frequently used for the treatment of congestive heart failure, symptomatic edema, diabetes insipidus and renal tubular acidosis.

The pill is also used for the prevention of kidney stones in those who have high levels of calcium in their urine.

“Nevertheless, our results should lead to a reconsideration of the use of hydrochlorothiazide. Hopefully, with this study, we can contribute towards ensuring safer treatment of high blood pressure in the future,” Pottegard noted.

With IANS Inputs

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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