Beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and thiazide diuretics are all common medications that regulate blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. But a new study shows that there may be another big benefit: These blood pressure medications could also potentially lower your risk of colon cancer.
Scientists from the University of Virginia Health System recently published their findings in Cancer Medicine looking at the health outcomes of roughly 14,000 colon cancer patients who consistently took their blood pressure prescriptions over a six-year period. Previous work showed that there may be a link between colon cancer and high blood pressure, and researchers wanted to see if there was a more direct and obvious connection. Their results illustrated that those who took their drugs as instructed over those six years were less likely to die from cancer and also lowered their overall mortality risk.
The team is still deciphering why these medications work so well, but given that colon cancer is the third-most common cancer in the United States, they’re hopeful that it could be a potential low-cost treatment option in the future after more testing is done. “We will continue to explore these protective effects of antihypertensives on other cancers as well in human populations using stronger study designs. This could potentially provide significant implications for gastrointestinal cancer treatment,” explained Rajesh Balkrishnan, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, in a press release.
Scientists also won’t say for sure how or if blood pressure drugs lower the risk of colon cancer in non-cancer patients, but it’s possible that they could have a significant impact there too. Moreover, researchers are also now taking a look at how these same medications could significantly reduce the mortality rates of people who have other cancers. In other words, those blood pressure meds could be doing a lot more good aside from just keeping those numbers in check and helping you manage your heart health!