HCTZ Use Linked to Increased Risk of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Researchers assessed the Danish cancer registry during 2004 to 2012 to identify patients with NMSC
Researchers assessed the Danish cancer registry during 2004 to 2012 to identify patients with NMSC

HealthDay News — Hydrochlorothiazide use is associated with an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), with evidence of a dose-response relationship, according to a study published online December 3 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Sidsel Arnspang, MD, from Odense University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the correlation between hydrochlorothiazide use and the risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Patients with NMSC were identified from the Danish Cancer registry during 2004 to 2012. They were matched in a 1:20 ratio by age and sex with controls. 

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The researchers found that higher use of hydrochlorothiazide (≥50,000mg) was associated with odds ratios of 1.29 and 3.98 for BCC and SCC, respectively. There were clear dose-response correlations for hydrochlorothiazide use with BCC and SCC; the odds ratios were 1.54 and 7.38, respectively, for the highest cumulative dose category (≥200,000mg). There was no correlation for use of other diuretics and antihypertensives with NMSC.

"Hydrochlorothiazide use is associated with a substantially increased risk of NMSC, especially SCC," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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