November 10, 2011
1 min read

High blood pressure increased risk of cancer death

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High blood pressure is related to a higher risk for cancer and a higher risk of dying from cancer, according to research presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress.

Mieke Van Hemelrijck, PhD, a research associate in the Cancer Epidemiology Group at King’s College London, United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective study in seven cohorts of Europeans that were part of the metabolic syndrome and cancer (Me-Can) project. Their study included 289,454 men and 288,345 women.

The researchers divided the men and women into five groups, ranging from lowest mid-blood pressure in the first group to the highest mid-blood pressure in the fifth group. They then calculated the risk for cancer and the risk of dying of cancer in each group.

After 12 years of follow-up, 22,184 men and 14,744 women developed cancer, and 8,724 men and 4,525 women died of cancer. The overall risk for developing cancer increased by 29% between men in the lowest mid-blood pressure group and those in the highest. However, women with high blood pressure did not show a significantly increased for cancer. The researchers also found that as the blood pressure rose in men, so did the risk for oral, colorectal, lung, bladder and kidney cancers, as well as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

Both men and women with high blood pressure had an increased risk of dying of cancer. Men in the highest mid-blood pressure group had a 49% increased risk of dying compared with men in the lowest mid-blood pressure group. Women in the highest mid-blood pressure group had a 24% increased risk of dying compared with women in the lowest mid-blood pressure group.

“We cannot claim that there is a causal link between high blood pressure and cancer risk, nor can we say that the cause of cancer is a factor related with high blood pressure,” Van Hemelrijck said in a press release. “However, a healthy lifestyle, including sufficient physical activity and a normal weight, has been shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. For instance, high blood pressure is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and our study now indicates that high blood pressure may also be a risk factor for cancer.”

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