Antihypertensive drugs and the risks of cancer: More fakes than facts

Allegra Battistoni, Giuliano Tocci, Vivianne Presta, Massimo Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last century, the diffusion of medical news to the public has been profoundly changed by the progressive spread of more pervasive, but at the same time often unreliable, means of communication. The misinterpretation of scientific evidence or fallacious presentation through social media could play as a great drawback to the success in the management of many diseases. This may become particularly alarming when concerning chronic diseases widely affecting the population. Arterial hypertension is still today one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in most countries, and its management generally requires chronic therapy lasting for decades. Therefore, a recent debate about the potential oncogenic effect of antihypertensive drugs has been made widely available to patients mostly through social media. Since this is a topic of great impact for millions of patients and of main relevance for the scientific community, it must not be contaminated by the spread of fake or twisted news. The objective of this article is to briefly discuss the almost complete lack of hard evidence about the potential oncogenic effect of the major classes of antihypertensive drugs as opposed to the exaggerated mediatic communication and impact of scattered and unconfirmed observations. We believe that it is of key importance to provide authoritative support for patients and clinicians from scientific societies and guidelines to balance an unopposed widespread penetration of twisted or even fake news.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2047487319884823
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 24 2019


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