The risk of developing cancer is heightened in people with high blood pressure, the largest study on the issue has found.
The research, carried out on nearly 600,000 subjects, also showed that those with a raised blood pressure have a greater chance of dying from the disease.
In men, there was a clear link between high blood pressure and cancer but this was not the case in women, the study led by Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck, a research associate in the cancer epidemiology group at King’s College London, found.
In such cases males are 10% to 20% more likely to develop oral, bowel, lung, bladder and kidney cancers, and melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
But in females high blood pressure was only linked with a higher incidence of cancers of the liver, pancreas, cervix, womb and melanoma skin cancer, but not an increased risk.
Dr Van Hemelrijck, who will present the findings at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, stressed the study had not proved that high blood pressure actually causes cancer.
She said: “However, a healthy lifestyle, including sufficient physical activity and a normal weight, has been shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.”