A popular class of blood pressure drug taken by millions of people can increase the risk of deadly kidney disease, a new study conducted by researchers at Cambridge University reveals.
The researchers recorded data on how many patients admitted to hospital with sudden kidney failure had been prescribed with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, commonly prescribed for diabetics. The researchers found that the number of hospital admissions rose by 52 percent between 2007-08 and 2010-11 along with a 16 percent rise in prescriptions of the drugs.
The researchers found that the largest increase in hospital admissions was among patients from GP surgeries that had largest rise in prescriptions. The researchers added that over 1,600 additional patients had been admitted to hospital for kidney injuries due to higher prescription rates. The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.
"There has been lots of anecdotal evidence suggesting these drugs may be a contributory factor in patients developing acute kidney injury, and this work gives us an opportunity to estimate the size of the problem, as well as making clinicians and patients more aware of the importance of using these drugs in accordance with current clinical guidelines", lead researcher Dr Rupert Payne said.