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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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Six including parents of groom killed in Dang road accident

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DANG- Six persons including the parents of a newlywed boy died on the spot after the two vehicles collided head on at Rihar of Lamahi Municipality-9 in Dang district at 1:45 am today.

According to police, a Scorpio Jeep (Ba 12 Cha 3122) heading to Shumshergunj of Banke district from Gitanagar in Chitwan and a bus (Na 5 Kha 4090) on its route to Kathmandu from Mahendranagar collided, killing six people on the spot and injuring two others.

The deceased have been identified as the parents of bridegroom Man Bahadur KC, 53, and Bimala, 45, of Raptisonari Rural Municipality-8 in Banke district, according to the chief of Dang District Police Office, Bel Bahadur Pandey.

Likewise, Bishwanath Adhikari, 49, Prabin KC, 5, Dipak Kumar Khadka, 31, and Dutta Bahadur Khatri, 78, also died in the incident. Jeep driver and next one have sustained injuries in the incident and are receiving medical treatment at Kohalpur Medical College, according to police.

Police shared that the newlywed bride and groom were travelling in another vehicle.

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