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Common blood pressure drug may cause skin cancer – study

People who take a certain water pill prescribed to control fluid retention and treat high blood pressure may be more likely to get skin cancer than other individuals, a Danish study suggests.

While the drug, hydrochlorothiazide, has long been linked to an increased risk of sunburns, the current study offers fresh evidence that this commonly prescribed medication may also make people more likely to develop two types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

For the study, researchers examined national prescription registry data on hydrochlorothiazide use from 1995 to 2012 as well as cancer registry records on skin malignancies diagnosed from 2004 to 2012.

Overall, people who took hydrochlorothiazide daily for at least six years were 29 percent more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma and almost four times more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma than individuals who didn’t take this medication, the study found. (Reuters)

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