Monday, June 14, 2010


Over the weekend, I was participating in a small, select ASEAN cardiac meeting organised by Sanofi Aventis, in Hanoi. The topic was on Hypertension, and my task was to speak on " Emerging strategies for the management of CV risk factors in Hypertension ". With Sanofi Aventis, it means the use of ARB ( angiotensin receptor blocking agent ), irbesartan in hypertension. Initiall, I thought that I will do a blog on that and talk about ARBs and hypertension.
However, yesterday, I picked up a Medscape article on the importance of cutting down sugary drinks and its effect in BP reduction, and also another article that just appeared in the BBC news health section, on the possible relationship between ARBs and cancers.
I thought that I will blog on this as the news is more important.

Drink less sugary drink to reduce BP
Dr Liwei Chan and colleagues at the Lousiana State University Health Center, published a small 810 adults with hypertension study which showed that if we were to drink 1.3 servings less of a sugary drink per day, we would drop our blood pressure significantly. This was part of the findings from the PREMIER study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute, and published in the May24, online edition of Circulation. They felt that the mild BP reduction in patients with pre-hypertension and mild hypertension, was due to taking less caffiene and other stimulants which maybe present in the sugary drink. Of course the fact that your weight may come down also helps.

ARBs and cancers
The next article of public interest was highlighted in BBC news, health section. They highlighted an article, published in the latest Lancet Oncology, of a review of publicly available records of all cancers and cancer deaths, on about 93,000 patients and related them to se how many were also using ARBs for various reasons. The study was led by Dr Iile Sipahi, of the University Hospital Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. They found a correlation. They conclded that for every 105 patients on ARBs, there were one case on cancer diagnosed. This is alarming. Basically, in their review of 93,000 cancer patients, there was an incence of 7.2 taking ARBs and 6.0, not taking ARBs. And this was statistically significant. Interesting.
For alongtime, since a 2003 study, we have always been very concern about the effects of ARBs in new vessel formation ( neo-vascularisation ) and also on apoptosis. New blood vessels promote cancer growth. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, and there are currently some theories, that if cells do not die at the program time, there will be over abundance of cells and so cancers. Interesting.
However, I must quickly warn that althought this paper gives food for thought, it is by no means confirmatory. It obviously requires more study. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE IT AS PROVEN. For those of you on ARBs ( which are very good drugs ), please do not stop them without your doctor's advice. Consult your doctors first.
I will post on the Hanoi meeting later.


Anonymous said...


Laili said...

Why do feel like the more doctors we have, the better medical technologies we adopt, the more disease appears ... More and more people get sick everyday! It is so disappointing ..