Information on drug use and cancer was collected from 483,733 US patients with a mean age of 61, 38 per cent of whom were taking ACE inhibitors.
Those taking ACE inhibitors were 55 per cent less likely to develop oesophageal cancer, 47 per cent less likely to develop colon cancer and 48 per cent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than patients not taking the drugs.
This effect was independent of age, race, gender, BMI, smoking status, use of NSAIDs, diabetes and statins.
ACE inhibitors prevent cancer by suppressing development of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumours, suggested study researcher Dr Vikhas Khurana from the University of Louisiana.
'Further research is needed before we can say whether ACE inhibitors' effect on cancer is one factor that doctors should take into account before prescribing a hypertension treatment,' he said.