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Some blood pressure drugs linked to pancreatic cancer in women

Illinois readers should be aware that certain high blood pressure medications could increase a woman's risk of developing pancreatic cancer after she goes through menopause. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth deadliest form of cancer in the U.S.

Researchers studied the health records of over 145,000 participants in the Women's Health Initiative. The participants were all postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79 when the initiative started, and their prescription drug use was recorded from 1993 until 1998. The research team found that 800 of the participants were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by 2014. They also found that women who took a short-acting calcium channel blocker, or CCB, to control their high blood pressure were 66 percent more likely to develop the disease. Those who took a CCB for three or more years were 107 percent more likely to get pancreatic cancer.

CCB drugs include nifedipine, nicardipine and diltiazem, and they are marketed under the brand names Procardia, Adalat, Cardene IV and Cardizem. The researchers did not find a link between pancreatic cancer and other drugs used to treat high blood pressure, including longer-acting CCB drugs, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and diuretic drugs. The research findings were presented at a symposium of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago in April. The results have not yet been peer-reviewed for publication in a medical journal.

Early diagnosis is essential for pancreatic cancer patients. If a doctor fails to diagnose a patient with pancreatic cancer, the individual has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses. Possible damages sought in such a suit might include current and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: UPI, "Some blood pressure meds tied to pancreatic cancer risk in women," Alan Mozes, April 17, 2018

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