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Blood pressure medications increase risk of pancreatic cancer

Women in Texas and across the United States who have taken certain types of blood pressure medications may be at a greater risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The research, which came from the Women's Health Initiative, found that postmenopausal women who took short-acting calcium channel blockers, or CCB, increased their risk of pancreatic cancer by 66 percent. Women who took a long-acting CCB were found to have a 12 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Different brand names of CCB medications include short-acting nifedipine, diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil and isradipine. Women who took other types of blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics, were not found to have been at an increased risk.

The nationwide study looked at 161,808 women ages 50 to 79 and followed study participants for 14 years. Of the 4,338 women who took short-acting CCB medications, 45 were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Prior research had led researchers to believe that CCB medications could potentially protect against pancreatic cancer by boosting levels of a certain protein that reduces inflammation in the body. Researchers now believe that CCB medications may set off a chain of events in the human body that can actually increase inflammation and the risk of pancreatic cancer.

In a situation where a woman believes that she may have pancreatic cancer as a result of taking a CCB medication, she may be entitled to compensation due to medical malpractice. This compensation might include damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of wages. An experienced attorney in medical malpractice law may be able to negotiate with the pharmaceutical company or the prescribing doctor's insurers in order help the affected party or their family receive monetary damages.

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